According to the World Health Organisation, 95% of a population needs to be immunised for the prevention of a disease outbreak. Yet, in the Netherlands – where child vaccinations are not compulsory, less than 90.2% of its 2-year-olds were vaccinated last year. The low immunity coverage corresponds with the worrying spike in measles diagnosis from 5,000 cases in 2016 to 41,000 cases in the half of 2018. The eight-fold increase has prompted the Dutch government to deliberate over the shift from raising vaccine awareness to granting nursery schools the right to turn away unvaccinated children. The threat of infectious but preventable diseases re-emerging has seen Dutch GPs using the hashtag #ikvaccineer (“I vaccinate” in English) on social media, and even liberal party members mulling over making child vaccinations mandatory across the Netherlands.
Written by Julian Sng