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. RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment is responsible for the Dutch National Immunisation Programme

Vaccination coverage

In 2018, the vaccination coverage in the Netherlands remained about the same as in 2017 for most of the vaccinations in the National Immunisation Programme. 92.4% of children had their DPTP vaccinations at the age of two, while 92.9% had received their MMR vaccination. Of all children born in the Netherlands in 2016, 90.2% participated fully in the National Immunisation Programme. This means that they had all their shots according to the vaccination schedule before reaching two years old. A positive note is that the preliminary vaccination rate in younger birth cohorts for e.g. MMR and DPTP was slightly higher amongst infants in March 2019 than the preliminary vaccination rate around the same time last year. More data in RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment ’s annual report on vaccination coverage and the Dutch National Immunisation Programme 2018.

Preliminary figures 2019

The percentage of newborns participating in the immunisation programme targeting mumps, measles and rubella rose slightly over the past year. RIVM reached this conclusion based on preliminary figures. There was a clear increase in girls receiving the first HPV vaccination, from 59% for girls born in 2005 to 72% for girls born in 2006. 

Preliminary figures for other vaccinations in the National Immunisation Programme show similar results: vaccination coverage remains stable. This conclusion is expected to be confirmed in the definitive vaccination coverage figures published annually in June. Read more


Vaccine research

RIVM conducts clinical studies on the safety and efficacy of vaccines. In addition, studies are underway to improve the National Immunisation Programme. This includes improving the vaccination schedule and reducing the number of injections. We advise the Dutch Government on immunology and vaccinology and carry 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.