The Netherlands has an extensive National Immunisation Programme to protect children against infectious diseases. The programme includes vaccination against 12 potentially fatal infectious diseases.

These difficult to treat and potentially fatal infectious diseases are:

Vaccination schedule National Immunisation Programme

Infants receive their first two vaccinations when they are three months old. Their immune system is already capable of a vigorous response at that age. The timing of the vaccinations has been designed to offer the best protection. Very young babies are extremely vulnerable to infectious diseases such as whooping cough. A child usually receives two injections per visit. The vaccinations are administered in the thigh or upper arm.

It is essential that children complete the vaccination cycle as scheduled. If your child has not been vaccinated as scheduled, you need to seek medical advice to ensure that your child receives adequate protection.

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Surveillance and developments

In 2018, some 880,000 children aged 0 to 19 were vaccinated under the National Immunisation Programme, a total of 2,266,000 vaccinations. This put an end to the decline in participation in the National Immunisation Programme observed since 2014.   In the first six months of 2019, the number of notified meningococcal serogroup W (MenW) disease cases decreased in almost all age groups, after a continuous increase since 2015. In 2018, there was also a low number of cases of other diseases under the National Immunisation Programme due to the high vaccination coverage in the past decennia.

Picture of the infographic Report 2018 - 2019 National Immunisation Programme

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Free of charge

The Immunisation Programme is free of charge. While participation is not compulsory, over 95% of parents consent to having their children vaccinated. The high vaccination rate means that these serious diseases have now become a rarity. We need to keep it that way by ensuring that children are vaccinated.