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The National Immunisation Programme in the Netherlands: surveillance and developments in 2021-2022.

Afrian, A., Andeweg, S., Backer, J.A., Beld, M.J.C. van de, Benincà, E., Benschop, K.S.M., Berry, D.S.F., Binnendijk, R.S. van, Blomont-Frederick, S., Bodewes, R., Boer, P. de, Boer, M.C., Boven, M. van, Brouwer, J.G.M., Brummelman, J., Buisman, A., Carpay, M., Coul, E. op de, Cremer, J., Duizer, E., Eer, K. van, Eggink, D., Els, C.A.C.M. van, Ende, C. van den, Ewijk, C.E. van, Ewijk, K. van, Freudenburg-de Graaf, W., Friesema, I.H.M., Gier, B. de, Gordon, T., Hagen, C.C.E. van, Hahné, S.J.M., Hartog, G. den, Heiningen, F. van, Henry, M.M., Helm, K., Hoeve, C., Hof, S. van den, Hoogen, M.L.L. van den, Hooiveld, M., Huiberts, A., Immink, M.M., Jongenotter, F., Kaaijk, P., Kassteele, J. van de, Kasteren, P.B. van, Kemmeren, J.M., King, A.J., Klis, F.R.M. van der, Knol, M.J., Korthals Altes, H., Kusters, J.M.A., Lanooij, S.J., Lier, E.A. van, Maaden, T. van der, Maas, N.A.T. van der, Mariman, S., Maxwell, A.A.A., McDonald, S., Meijberg, A., Meijer, A., Meijeren, D.L. van, Melker, H.E. de, Middeldorp, M., Miellet, W., Niessen, F.A., Notermans, D.W., Oostdijk, C., Op de Coul, E., Pijnacker, R., Pinelli Ortiz, E., Plantinga, N., Pluijmaekers, A.J.M., Putten, B.C.L. van der, Rots, N.Y., Ruijs, W.L.M., Schreuder, I., Slobbe, J. van, Smits, G., Sorge, N.M. van, Steens, A., Teelen, S., Teirlinck, A.C., Valk, A., Veerman, C., Veldhuizen, I.K., Vennema, H., Versteegen, P., Visser, L.J., Voskuil, P.H., Vos, E.R.A., Vries, M. de, Werkhoven, C.H. van, Wijmenga-Monsuur, A.J., Wit, J. de, Wong, D. The National Immunisation Programme in the Netherlands: surveillance and developments in 2021-2022. Bilthoven: RIVM, 2021. 362 p.
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The National Immunisation Programme in the Netherlands
Surveillance and developments in 2021-2022

RIVM tracks how many people fall ill due to a disease that is included in the National Immunisation Programme (NIP). In 2021, fewer people got such a disease compared to 2020. This is very likely due to COVID-19 control measures such as social distancing and handwashing. There were especially fewer people with invasive pneumococcal disease (about 1,205 people), pertussis (74), and mumps (1). The number of notifications for meningococcal disease caused by serotype W (4) decreased further, after introduction of the vaccine for adolescents into the NIP in 2020. There were no notifications of diphtheria, tetanus, measles, rubella, or polio in 2021.

The number of chronic hepatitis B notifications (743) was about the same as in 2020. Between 2014 and 2019 there were many more notifications, with about 1,000 to 1,100 people being made aware they had this disease. The decrease is probably the result of a decrease in doctors’ visits and therefore diagnoses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Only Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) occurred more frequently than before the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020 and 2021 there were 68 notifications per year, compared to 39 in 2019. RIVM currently investigates the cause. The vaccine seems to be as effective as in previous years.

In 2021, 1,703,102 children were vaccinated as part of the NIP. They received a total of 2,219,341 vaccinations. Also, 115,886 pregnant women received a vaccination that protects their baby immediately after birth against, amongst others, whooping cough. Vaccination coverage in the Netherlands is slightly lower than last year. This is partly because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused some vaccinations to be given later than normally planned.

The Health Council of the Netherlands recommended in June 2021 to offer rotavirus vaccination to young babies. In September 2021, the Health Council recommended inviting more risk groups for flu vaccination, including pregnant women. The ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport adopted both recommendations in 2022.

Vaccination against COVID-19 works well to prevent severe illness and death, but the protection slowly decreases. Booster vaccinations increase protection again.