On Monday 1 July an advisory committee on Child day care and vaccination, presented its advice to the government, secretary of state Paul Blokhuis. The committee emphasizes that the government should do more to promote the currently too low vaccination rate. This involves on the one hand, being more explicit in expression that parents should accept vaccination for the common good - to protect their own children and those of others. The committee also states that if the vaccination rate drops below a certain level - to be decided now - it should become mandatory for all child day care centers to require children to be vaccinated according to the national schedule.
This is completely in line with what Roland Pierik and I have proposed in several of our contributions to the debate - most recently in our discussion in the legal journal Nederlands Juristenblad. In that paper we offered a critical review of the proposal for a law - initiated by D66 MP Rens Raemakers - to allow child day care centers to refuse non-vaccinated children. The committee also agrees with us that this is not the way to go. In response Rens Raemakers has made public that he will change his proposal - and basically now adopts our approach as well: in his view, if vaccination rates drop below 90%, only vaccinated children(i.e. vaccinated according to schedule) should be admitted in day care centers. We are now awaiting if other political parties will follow as well, and we are also awaiting advice of the National Institute of Public Health (RIVM) about what could be proposed as a lower threshold.
One of the many interesting questions Roland Pierik and I will be working on in the coming months is to analyse if it is ethically justified and legally feasible to apply such a lower threshold also on regional levels - possibly implying that mandatory vaccination will be established in some regions but not in others. An alternative could be to enact mandatory vaccination nationally if at least one region (but then, what size?) is below the threshold.