Update measles: advice for vaccinating babies

Update measles: advice for vaccinating babies

Early vaccination

The RIVM (‘Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu’, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) advises holidaymakers to vaccinate their babies against the measles earlier than usual (which is at 14 months) if they are travelling to countries that have seen a recent outbreak of measles.

There have been measles outbreaks in various European countries, particularly in Romania and Ukraine. The RIVM advises parents to vaccinate babies over the age of 6 months early if they’re travelling to those countries. When travelling to countries with smaller outbreaks (such as Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy, Bulgaria, Bulgaria and Lithuania) an early vaccination is not necessary. For other trips and stays at campsites or hotels, the early vaccination is also not required.

List of countries

The RIVM has published a list of countries with an increased risk of measles. The list is in Dutch. The middle column indicates whether a country has an increased risk of measles and an early BMR (mumps, measles and rubella) vaccination is therefore recommended (‘ja’ = yes). The right column specifies whether there is any other travel advice for that country.

The RIVM further recommends considering an early vaccination if travelling to New York and staying in areas/neighbourhoods that have seen recent outbreaks of measles. When staying with Orthodox Jewish families, vaccination from the age of 6 months is advised. The recommendation includes taking a proof of vaccination with you when visiting areas where vaccination is mandatory. Information about local compulsory vaccination can be found on the CDC website and the site of the New York local health authorities.

The border areas between Venezuela and Brazil, Colombia and Guyana bear an increased risk of measles due to refugees from Venezuela. One may also consider early BMR vaccination for these areas.

If an unvaccinated child has been in contact with a measles patient, a vaccination can still be given up to 72 hours after the contact. Consult a local physician.

Usually, toddlers receive the so-called BMR vaccination at the age of 14 months. The early vaccination always requires repetition after the first birthday.

The early vaccination can be arranged through the consultatiebureau (Baby Health Clinic).

Read more about Youth Healthcare/Baby Health Clinic and the Dutch national immunisation programme



  • Measles comes with a high fever and spots.
  • Measles is caused by a highly contagious virus.
  • The virus lives in snot and saliva.
  • It is passed from one person to another through tiny droplets in the air.
  • Call your GP if you think your child may have measles.
  • Sometimes measles can be severe (with ear infection or meningitis).
  • If your child has had two vaccinations against measles (BMR shots) the chances of your child having / getting measles are very slim.


 This news item is a translation of a post by The information is not intended to replace a consultation with a GP. For personal advice, please contact your GP. Please read our disclaimer.

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