Short term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on incidence of vaccine preventable diseases and participation in routine infant vaccinations in the Netherlands in the period March-September 2020

Vaccine. 2021 Feb 12;39(7):1039-1043. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2020.12.080. Epub 2021 Jan 6.


We aimed to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the incidence of vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) and participation in the routine infant vaccination programme in the Netherlands. The incidence of various VPDs initially decreased by 75-97% after the implementation of the Dutch COVID-19 response measures. The participation in the first measles-mumps-rubella vaccination among children scheduled for vaccination in March-September 2020 initially dropped by 6-14% compared with the previous year. After catch-up vaccination, a difference in MMR1 participation of -1% to -2% still remained. Thus, the pandemic has reduced the incidence of several VPDs and has had a limited impact on the routine infant vaccination programme.

Keywords: COVID-19; Routine infant vaccination; SARS-CoV-2; VPDs; Vaccine-preventable diseases.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine / administration & dosage
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Pandemics*
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data*
  • Vaccine-Preventable Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Vaccine-Preventable Diseases / prevention & control


  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine