In the Netherlands, there are 80 municipalities with a low vaccination coverage for one or more vaccinations. This is a decrease compared to last year when there were still 90 municipalities. The average percentage of children who are vaccinated in the National Immunisation Programme (NIP) remains high. These results are stated in a recently published report by the RIVM: Immunisation coverage National Immunisation Programme in the Netherlands. Reporting year 2013. Included in the report is vaccination data on babies born in 2010, young children born in 2007, schoolchildren born in 2002 and adolescent girls born in 1998.

With voluntary vaccination, a high vaccination coverage is reached in the Netherlands. High levels of immunisation are necessary in order to protect as many people individually as possible. For most target diseases in the NIP it is also important to protect the population as a whole against outbreaks such as measles and polio. This so-called herd immunity is reached through a high vaccination coverage. To ensure that children in the Netherlands are vaccinated on time and in full, continuous efforts need to be made by all parties involved in the NIP.

The participation for all vaccinations included in the NIP remains high. For the HPV vaccination against cervical cancer the participation increased with 2% to 58%. The World Health Organization (WHO) aims to eliminate measles worldwide. In this context, it remains important to pursue further increase of the MMR vaccination coverage for schoolchildren to at least 95%.
In year of report 2013, there are fewer municipalities with one or more vaccination percentages (HPV and hepatitis B excluded) below 90%: 80 municipalities in year of report 2013 versus 90 municipalities in year of report 2012 and 107 municipalities in year of report 2011.
Immunisation of premature children deserves special attention. Because their immunisation is sometimes less timely, they are at increased risk of diseases against which the NIP offers protection.
In 2013, experts from the Caribbean Netherlands and the RIVM will collaborate on further harmonisation of the immunisation programme on these islands with the Dutch NIP.

The graph below presents the coverage per vaccination for babies, young children, schoolchildren and adolescent girls.
(Click on image to enlarge)

NB In 2011, universal vaccination against hepatitis B has been introduced. So, to all infants born on or after August 1 2011 hepatitis B vaccination is offered.