Young children are the most vulnerable to infectious diseases. Since every child has the right to the best possible start in life, the government offers all children living in the Netherlands vaccination against a number of infectious diseases. Parents do not have to pay for the vaccinations offered by the National Immunisation Programme.

Vaccination coverage in the Netherlands

In 2021, participation in the National Immunisation Programme has fallen slightly, showing a decrease of 1 to 2 percentage points. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the staff of Youth Healthcare Services made considerable efforts to reach as many families as possible and to vaccinate children. This led to a limited decline in participation.  For more information, see the news Participation in National Immunisation Programme shows slight decrease or annual report National Immunisation Programme in the Netherlands 2021. Provisional figures for 2022 are also available. 

Role of RIVM

RIVM is responsible for the Dutch National Immunisation Programme. RIVM also conducts clinical studies on the safety and efficacy of vaccines. Studies are underway to improve the National Immunisation Programme. This includes improving the vaccination schedule and reducing the number of vaccinations. RIVM advises the Dutch Government on immunology and vaccinology and carries out research to generate knowledge and data on the immune response to infectious diseases and to vaccinations offered in the framework of the government’s infectious disease control programme.