Reminder scheme for childhood vaccination

When children are not vaccinated it is often merely due to an oversight. That is why Statens Serum Institut sends letters to parents to remind them about childhood vaccination.

Since 15 May 2014, Statens Serum Institut (SSI) has sent out written reminders concerning childhood vaccination to parents of children who turn 2 years, 6½ years and 14 years old if the children lack one or more of the vaccinations recommended under the Danish childhood vaccination programme.

This scheme has contributed to increasing the vaccination coverage to ensure that as few children as possible are affected by serious diseases that may be prevented through vaccination. Even so, the Danish vaccination coverage is slightly lower than in the countries with which we normally compare ourselves, and vaccinations are frequently given late.

In October 2018, the then government presented a new vaccination initiative: The many must protect the few. In this initiative, one of the objectives is to ensure that childhood vaccinations are given as scheduled. This issue of EPI-NEWS provides a brief description of one of the measures of the initiative: A new reminder scheme will be described in more detail in EPI-NEWS in August.

As part of the new reminder scheme , children born after 1 August 2019 will automatically be allocated the Danish vaccination programme in the Danish Vaccination Register (DVR), which will be presented as a “recommended vaccination scheme” in the DVR.

Two weeks before the scheduled time of any childhood vaccination, both parents/the parents who holds custody of the child/the guardian (below coined “the parent”) will receive an E-boks message reminding them to schedule an appointment for childhood vaccination.

One month after the planned vaccination date, automatic follow-up will check if the vaccination has been given; for example, it will be checked if 4-month-old children have received their 3-month vaccinations. If a vaccination seems not to have been registered in the DVR, another reminder about lacking childhood vaccination will be sent to both parents.

In case of delayed vaccination, the system will automatically take into account the minimum intervals separating the vaccines. In this way, general practice and parents are encouraged to ensure that the vaccines are given in a timely manner. In case doubt arises about which vaccine a child may not have received, the parents are to contact their GP. If the GP is in doubt, he or she may contact the phone service of the Department of Infectious Epidemiology. Thus, parents are not supposed to contact the SSI.

Parents will be given the opportunity to opt out of these reminders. That is done via Opting out of reminders (in danish).

If parents want to opt out of the vaccination programme altogether, they will have to consult their GP.

For parents who are not receiving digital mail, the letters will be sent as standard surface mail.

Once implemented, the parents who have signed up for NEM SMS will receive a notification informing them of the letter from Statens Serum Institut.

Who are covered by the new reminder scheme?

Children born after 1 August 2019 will be allocated a vaccination schedule at birth.

Children who turn 4 years old as from 1 November 2019 will be allocated a vaccination schedule comprising the 4-, 5-, and 12-year vaccinations (MMR2, DTaP-IPV booster and HPV 1 and 2).
Furthermore, children who turn 12 years old as from 1 November 2019 will be allocated a vaccination schedule comprising the 12-year vaccines (HPV 1 and 2).

Children who are not included in these groups will continue to receive reminders based on the existing scheme at 2 years, 6½ years and 14 years of age. This schedule will be phased-out gradually as all children are comprised by the new reminder scheme.

Information in other languages

Information about the danish childhood vaccination programme are available in other languages: English, Arabic, Farsi, Polish and Somali (Danish Health Authority).
Post-it note linking to information about the Danish Childhood Vaccination Programme