Is the Dutch population well protected against measles?

Overall, the Dutch population is well protected against measles. People born before 1965 are almost all protected because they had measles at some point in their lives. People born after 1975 are protected against measles if they have been vaccinated through the National Immunisation Programme. 

Measles was less common between 1965 and 1975. People who were born in that period are only protected against measles if they actually had the disease at some point, or if they were vaccinated outside the context of the National Immunisation Programme. Anyone who has not been vaccinated against measles, and has never had a measles infection, can get measles. 

A measles outbreak can occur in places or within groups where under 90% of people are protected against the disease.

What should I do if my child played with a schoolmate who has measles?

If your child has been vaccinated according to the schedule of the National Immunisation Programme, you do not need to do anything. The MMR vaccination protects your child against measles. If your child has not been vaccinated against measles, it is still possible to get an MMR vaccination (free of charge) until your child is 18 years old. You can contact your local Youth Healthcare Services organisation to arrange an appointment.

Is it dangerous to get measles during pregnancy?

Pregnant people who are not vaccinated against measles and have never had measles themselves have a higher risk of severe illness due to measles. Measles does not cause birth defects in children. In rare cases, it can lead to miscarriage or premature birth. If you are pregnant, have never been vaccinated against measles, and have never had the disease, Then stay away from people who might currently have measles. Call the GP if you do have contact with a measles patient. 

Babies are not sufficiently protected against measles when they are born. They have an increased risk of severe illness from measles. This does not only apply to babies of unvaccinated mothers. Babies of vaccinated mothers also have hardly any protective antibodies against measles at birth. Babies born to mothers who have had measles themselves have protective antibodies for about two months. 

Can a child with measles go to the Well-Baby Clinic? 

No, a child with measles should not go to the Well-Baby Clinic. Many of the babies at those clinics have not yet been vaccinated against measles. That is why children with measles are not allowed to go to the clinic. Measles is contagious even before the first spots of the measles rash appear on the body. For that reason, if a child has measles, their siblings are also not allowed to go to the Well-Baby Clinic.

Are you unsure if your child has measles? And do you have an appointment at the Well-Baby Clinic? Call the clinic beforehand. They can tell you the best course of action in your case.