Recently, Dutch pediatricians issued a unified call urging parents to vaccinate their children against all diseases covered in the national vaccination program (Rijksvaccinatieprogramma). At the Amsterdam Institute for Immunology & Infectious Diseases, vaccination is a top priority. Our institute comprises leading scientists and physicians specializing in immunology or infectious diseases who are dedicated to this critical field. They not only concentrate on enhancing the efficacy of existing vaccinations but also endeavor to pioneer innovative vaccines targeting infectious diseases like HIV, Lyme disease, hepatitis C, and even cancer.

The concerning recent events in the Netherlands, such as fatalities among infants due to pertussis and the decline in measles vaccination rates leading to a surge in measles infections, deeply trouble us. Therefore, we wholeheartedly endorse the recent collective call from Dutch pediatricians, urging parents to vaccinate their children.

Please find below more information about the recent joint call from Dutch pediatricians:

Make sure your child receives vaccinations for all diseases covered by the national vaccination program. Dutch pediatricians are issuing this collective plea. They are currently witnessing a significant rise in the incidence of life-threatening infections, many of which can be prevented through vaccination in pediatric units.

In recent weeks, at least 4 children have died from pertussis. Such a high number has not been seen in the Netherlands since the pertussis vaccine was introduced into the national vaccination program in 1957. Additionally, measles have resurfaced in almost all of Europe, including the Netherlands, as demonstrated by the measles outbreak in the Eindhoven region.

Call to Action

The majority of life-threatening childhood infections can be prevented through vaccination. This not only includes pertussis and measles but also serious bacterial infections like sepsis and meningitis. With fewer children being vaccinated, more will be vulnerable to these diseases. Therefore, pediatricians urge all parents: vaccinate your child.

"Vaccinations are no longer taken for granted," state the pediatricians. "We understand that, due to the effectiveness of vaccines, most parents have never witnessed the severity of contagious childhood diseases. We are available to address any concerns or doubts. You can consult with your general practitioner, youth doctor, or one of the 1600 pediatricians in the Netherlands. Through this, we hope parents can make informed decisions for their child's health, thereby preventing unnecessary child mortality and serious health complications."

The call is endorsed by:

  • Louis Bont, Head of Pediatrics, Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, Utrecht UMC
  • Gertjan Driessen, Head of Pediatrics, MosaKids Children's Hospital, Maastricht UMC
  • Arno Roest, Interim Head of Pediatrics, Willem-Alexander Children's Hospital, Leiden UMC
  • Jan Peter Rake, Medical Director, Radboudumc Amalia Children's Hospital, Nijmegen
  • Edmond Rings, Head of Pediatrics, Erasmus MC Sophia Children's Hospital
  • Eduard Verhagen, Head of Beatrix Children's Hospital, University Medical Center Groningen
  • Willem de Vries, Head of Emma Children's Hospital, Amsterdam UMC
  • Lissy de Ridder (Chair, Dutch Association of Pediatrics)
Check out an interesting opinion article about child vaccination and the importance of communication through this link. The article is authored by Daniƫlle Timmermans, a professor of risk communication and public health at Amsterdam UMC.