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Vaccination coverage is an important performance indicator of any national immunisation programme (NIP). To monitor the vaccination coverage in the Netherlands, an electronic national immunisation register called 'Præventis' was implemented in 2005. Præventis has a link with the population register and can produce letters of invitation for the NIP, register and validate administered vaccinations. The database is used to monitor the vaccination process, produce reminder letters, control the stock of vaccines and provides information used for paying the fees to the different executive organisations involved. Præventis provides a crucial tool for the evaluation of the NIP by producing (sub)national vaccination coverage estimates with high accuracy and allowing additional research: identifying populations at high risk for low coverage based on existing data, conducting specific studies where individuals included in the immunisation register are approached for further research, using vaccination coverage data for the interpretation of (sero)surveillance data, and linking the immunisation register with disease registers to address vaccine safety or vaccine effectiveness. The ability to combine Præventis data with data from other databases or disease registers and the ability to approach individuals with additional research questions offers opportunities to identify areas of priority for improving the Dutch NIP.


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