Pediatricians are surprised that the decision on the Rota vaccine has been postponed to the next cabinet. “Incomprehensible! This can save thousands of hospital admissions annually.”
Marlis van Leeuwen and Marcia Neuenhuys
“My concern is if this is unnecessarily delayed,” says Karoly Ely, president of the Dutch Association of Pediatricians (NVK). The Health Board – the government’s main advisory body – believes that a vaccine against children should be introduced in the Netherlands. Rotavirus, via Secretary of State Paul Blochis, wrote in a letter to the House of Representatives this week that although it is “positive” towards Advice To vaccinate children against the virus, but it is “up to the next cabinet to make a decision.” The problem is, among other things, that no money has yet been made available in the government budget.
Infectious rotavirus causes diarrhea and vomiting and in severe cases can lead to dehydration and organ failure. Almost all children under the age of five are infected with rotavirus. The disease in many of them is mild, but tens of thousands of parents visit the doctor with their children each year. On average, about 3,600 children under the age of five end up in hospital each year with an infection. Five to seven children die each year from the effects. The vaccine has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of acute diarrhea in countries such as Belgium, the United States and Germany – where it is already given as a standard. The number of hospital admissions could be reduced by 85 percent.
Convinced that the Secretary of State’s decision would be “a mere formality,” a delegation from RIVM, GDD, youth doctors and the NVK met two weeks ago to develop a plan for the introduction of a rota vaccine. It doesn’t happen overnight: Contracts to buy the vaccine must be negotiated and health centers must be prepared to give the drops – this vaccine is not an injection – to newborns. “In no way did we take into account that this train would be delayed, because Blochois prefers to leave the decision to the next cabinet,” Eli says. He was surprised by the message. “Introducing of course costs money: Instead of just vulnerable children, you vaccinate all children, so you have to buy more vaccines.”
Elie is supported by Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics Ronald de Groot: “It is wise and incomprehensible that the Cabinet simply does not adopt this advice!” This is not a politically sensitive file, it is very scientifically clear. All the major countries in Europe are already vaccinating against rotavirus, which is a small investment and there is broad support for it in the House of Representatives. I’m sure not all of my pediatric colleagues understand this either.”
Prevent thousands of withdrawals
The professor points out that hospitals were already dealing with it Busy due to, among other things, the RS . virus. Especially this virus causes serious illness in young children who develop shortness of breath. “We must bear in mind that the number of hospital admissions remains an issue.” According to the professor, you can prevent thousands of admissions annually by introducing the rotavirus vaccine.
Pediatricians fear “unnecessary delays”. Eli: Blokhuis’ successor will first have to read the thread before making such a decision, and that takes time. Only then can we start the preparations that take about a year. Worryingly, children are not protected until later.” De Groot: “If it takes too long before we have a new government, it will be 2023 and we should not.”
How do vaccinations work? Doctor. Meta Roestenberg (Leiden University) explains what it contains, how it works and how they make a vaccine.
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