Fewer children vaccinated: ‘Chance of epidemic increasing’

Vaccination coverage among children in Drenthe is declining. Not as hard as in the rest of the Netherlands, but there are still concerns at GGD Drenthe.

Vaccinations that protect young children against mumps, measles, rubella, tentanus and polio, for example, for decades the question was not whether you would give your child these vaccinations, but an automatism. But a growing group of Dutch children have not received the standard vaccinations against infectious diseases. National vaccination coverage fell below ninety percent for the first time last year.

The proportion of children who are not vaccinated is also growing in Drenthe. Vaccination coverage fell by 7.8 percentage points in the municipality of Emmen and by 7.6 percentage points in Meppel. This makes them the largest fallers in our province. Fewer children were also vaccinated in Tynaarlo, Assen, Borger-Odoorn, Westerveld, Hoogeveen and Midden-Drenthe.

“How that is possible is also a question for us,” says Jac Korsten, medical advisor and youth doctor at GGD Drenthe. “Since the outbreak of covid, there seems to be a decline. People may have viewed vaccinations differently since then.” But it’s not all doom and gloom. In Coevorden, on the other hand, an increase in vaccination coverage of three percentage points can be seen, and the municipality of Aa en Hunze even has the largest increase in the Netherlands. Here, vaccination coverage increased by six percentage points.