You are looking for information about vaccination. Vaccination is also called 'immunization' or  'inoculation'. Vaccinations can protect against infectious diseases. This page will give you information on some common vaccinations, such as:

  • MMR vaccination. This vaccination provides protection against measles, mumps and rubella. These diseases can cause severe complications, such as inflammation of the brain or, in case of pregnancy, malformations in the baby.
  • HPV vaccination. This vaccination protects against the human papilloma virus, a virus that increases the risk of developing cervical cancer later in life.
  • Zoster vaccination. This vaccination offers protection against shingles ('zona').
  • Flu vaccine. The flu shot can protect you against Influenza, also known as 'seasonal flu'. It does not protect against a cold or stomach flu. Since the flu virus often changes its characteristics, it is usually recommended to repeat the flu shot each year.

Your choice

In a number of countries, some vaccinations are obligated by the government. For all vaccinations that are not compulsory, you have the right to refuse them. The same is true for non-obligatory vaccinations of your child, although older children may have their own say in it. On the other hand, you can ask for a vaccination for which you have not received any invitation.

Vaccination decision aids

To make a well-considered decision about the pros and cons of vaccination, you need valid information. For this, you can use the decision aids that are listed below. These can answer the following questions: What is the risk of the disease without vaccination? And what is the risk of the disease after vaccination? How severe is the disease? What are the risks and adverse effects of the vaccination? In addition, the decision aids can give you insight in your own ideas about the vaccination. It is recommended that you discuss your preferences with your doctor before making your final decision.

Measles mumps rubella vaccine decision aid EN

Vaccinations for children (OHRI): decision aids about MMR and HPV vaccination EN

Flu shot (OHRI): multiple decision aids about issues around the flu shot EN

Zoster vaccination (OHRI): yes or no EN