The Dutch National Immunisation Programme (NIP) has been very successful over the past 50 years. In future, this programme shall not include all new vaccines. Such vaccines can, however, be individually administered. At present there are 3 vaccines available in the Netherlands that have not been included in the NIP to date: against varicella (chickenpox), herpes zoster (shingles) and rotavirus infections. These vaccines are safe and effective. Chickenpox is not always a harmless childhood disease. A chickenpox vaccine is now available as well as a combined vaccine against mumps, measles, rubella and chickenpox. Shingles (herpes zoster) is a common disease in the elderly people. For many patients it is a considerable burden with significant complications, mainly postherpetic neuralgia and herpes zoster ophthalmicus. Vaccination may be considered for people 60 years and older. Rotavirus is much more associated with severe symptoms of diarrhoea than other pathogens. More than 95% of children experience one or more episodes of rotavirus gastroenteritis before their 5th birthday. In the Netherlands about 3400 children are hospitalised each year for rehydration following rotavirus infection. The vaccine is given orally.

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Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Hartwig, N., Rümke, H., & Visser, H. (2009). Vaccination against chickenpox, shingles and rotavirus-infection [Vaccineren tegen waterpokken, gordelroos en rotavirus-infectie.]. Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, 153. Retrieved from