The 2016 childhood vaccination programme - Measures do work

Vaccines is one of the most effective ways of preventing infectious diseases. By vaccinating against highly infectious childhood diseases like measles, mumps, rubella and whooping cough, we can both prevent infections in the people vaccinated and reduce the spread of diseases in the general population.

In order to ensure good protection for the entire population, it is necessary to achieve a high coverage in the childhood vaccination programme. A sufficiently high vaccination overage not only protects the individual child. We also protect immunocompromised children who cannot tolerate vaccination against infection. Furthermore, we protect the children who are currently too young to be vaccinated.

In 2016, the coverage of nearly all vaccines in the childhood vaccination programme rose.

“In 2016, we have recorded a higher coverage for all vaccinations under the childhood vaccination programme than in 2015, except for the HPV vaccine, and that is tremendously encouraging. The higher coverage was owed, among others, to the considerable effort made by Statens Serum Institut, which sends out reminder letters to patients inviting them to have their children vaccinated if they have not been vaccinated already,” explains Bolette Søborg, Consultant with the Danish Health Authority.

However, we have also witnessed a marked decrease in the coverage of the HPV vaccine in 2016 as only 15% of the girls born in 2003 concluded their HPV vaccination. The Danish health authorities are very concerned about this steep reduction. Therefore, in the coming years, efforts will be made to restore trust and once again reach a high HPV coverage.

As a preparation for their work, in 2016 the Danish Health Authority asked patients and young girls about their attitudes and preoccupations relating to the HPV vaccine. Knowledge gained here will be used for a major information campaign on the HPV vaccine that will be launched in 2017.

"The preliminary study focused on knowledge, attitudes and decision-making processes relating to the HPV vaccine among the girls and their parents. We can use this knowledge to prepare the parents to make the decision as to whether their girl is to be vaccinated against HPV infection”, says Bolette Søborg, Consultant with the Danish Health Authority.

The Danish Health Authority, Statens Serum Institut and the Danish Medicines Authority have collaborated on the annual report for the 2016 childhood vaccination programme. The report provides general information about the vaccination programme, the coverage and the effect of each vaccine, the reported side effects and the measures initiated to increase the coverage for the HPV vaccine.

The annual report is for anyone with an interest in the Danish childhood vaccination programme, both parents, the media, decision-makers and other authorities.

For more information, please see The Childhood Vaccination Programme - Annual Report 2016.

For more information, please see EPI-NEWS 15-17/17.

26 April 2017

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