Dutch teenagers of 16 years who are not vaccinated according to the official calendar will be asked by the doctors if they want to receive them. From that age, they can make their own decisions on health issues, even if they are contrary to the will of the parents, and specialists hope to increase the protection rates nationwide. In the Netherlands vaccines are not compulsory and, as in other countries, the percentages are falling: in 2017, only 90.2% of children of two years had been immunized against diseases such as polio, tetanus and whooping cough, a 1% less than in 2016 (1,720 small), according to the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment; and four years ago, the country fell for the first time of 95% of children inoculated against measles, the amount considered safe by the World Health Organization to guarantee general immunity.
The Association of Doctors of Youth, to which the heads of schools and schools attend, will be in charge of getting in touch with the adolescents. At this time, evaluate the best way to do it, either by mail or through a public campaign. "The best thing is to know how they prefer to be informed; let them tell us themselves, "said Mascha Kamphuis, its president, this weekend. They are also prepared "to help both parties when there is a difference of opinion".
Both the College of Pediatricians and the Ministry of Health agree. "Because we do not want adolescents to be poorly informed in matters related to their health," according to spokespersons for the latter, bearing in mind that minors may have problems at home if they request a vaccine that their parents reject, juvenile doctors, in that In this case, they will guarantee your privacy.
Until a few years ago, the repudiation of vaccines was concentrated in Holland in the so-called Biblical Belt. It is a Calvinist majority zone that crosses the national territory from west to east, and does not want them for religious reasons. In 1971, there was an epidemic of polio that cost the lives of five children and left sequels to another 44. Between 1999 and 2000, three children died of measles, and 150 ended up in the hospital. Between 2013 and 2014, a new outbreak occurred, and one child died and 182 were hospitalized. In total, almost 3,000 people were infected, according to official figures. The lack of current vaccines covers other provinces, and includes parents concerned about their side effects "in an immature immune system," as explained in social networks Anti-vaccines groups.
It does not happen only in the Netherlands, and doctors have the same problem as in other countries: convincing parents that measles can be very serious, and vaccination is a common effort. Anyway, at this time, Article 11 of the Constitution states that "the body is inviolable and each citizen can decide for himself if he refuses a medication, unless a legal exception has been made". To force parents to vaccinate their children, a recurrent debate but without consensus in Parliament, it would be necessary to pass a specific law in this regard.