Vaccinations help, concludes University of Groningen PhD student Maarten van Wijhe in his thesis entitled The public health impact of vaccination programmes in the Netherlands. Van Wijhe investigated national vaccination programmes against diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps and rubella and concluded that between 6,000 and 12,000 deaths had been prevented among children and young adults born between 1953 and 1992.
Van Wijhe collected a large amount of data on mortality, illness and government spending right back to the start of the 20th century. He used statistical analyses to find out ‘what would have happened if we had not had those vaccination programmes’. By answering this question and comparing the results with the actual situation, he was able to determine the extent to which vaccination programmes have made a difference. His research mainly focused on the 20th century and vaccinations for diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps and rubella.
The number of deaths from infectious diseases that could have been prevented by vaccinations started to fall even before vaccination programmes were launched. However, the programmes did play a role in the prevention of infant mortality. According to Van Wijhe, 6,000 to 12,000 deaths were prevented among those born between 1953 and 1992. This is due, in large part, to the administering of vaccinations against whooping cough and diphtheria.
Vaccination programmes have also greatly reduced the number of reported cases of illness: by 50% for rubella up to 90% for polio. Government spending on these programmes rose from € 5 million in 1957 to € 93 million in 2014, primarily due to new and more expensive vaccines. This expenditure is still only a fraction of the total spending on health care.
In his doctoral thesis, Van Wijhe concludes that vaccination programmes have saved many lives and prevented much suffering. Nevertheless, the PhD student believes that we must realize that the effectiveness of vaccinations, and particularly their impact on mortality rates, is not a given. Monitoring the effectiveness of vaccination programmes and highlighting their contribution to public health remains essential.
How is it possible that a gecko can hang from the ceiling? And why is a mussel able to stick so well under water? Nature’s mysteries are a source of inspiration for researcher Marleen Kamperman.
The next big step in the development and adoption of AI was discussed at the YAN event that was held on November 23.
Vera developed a new method to determine landscape-wide variation in vegetation height from radar satellite imagery.
The UG website uses functional and anonymous analytics cookies. Please answer the question of whether or not you want to accept other cookies (such as tracking cookies).
If no choice is made, only basic cookies will be stored. More information