asked the Minister of Health whether he can inform the House as to the number of children in this country who are unprotected by vaccination against smallpox; what is the percentage of babies in respect of whom certificates of exemption were granted last year; and what steps he is taking to protect the country from an extension of the present outbreak of smallpox?
I regret that the information asked for in the first two parts of the question is not available, but the figures of exemption for 1922 expressed as a percentage of the total number of children born was 44. 3, while the corresponding figure for children vaccinated was 40'3. As regards the last part of the question, the responsibility for dealing with an outbreak of smallpox rests upon the local authorities and their officers, but the medical officers of my Department are rendering all possible assistance and advice to the authorities of the affected areas.
Does my right hon. Friend recognise how serious a situation has arisen owing to the large number of persons who are now evading vaccination in the ease of their children, and will he consider reimposing the Regulation which was repealed by the party opposite when they were in power?
Before the right lion Gentleman replies to that question, will he give an assurance to the House that there is no reason why Kensington should he in a panic over this matter?
asked the Minister of Health if he will state the number of cases and deaths from smallpox for the first four months of this and the previous three years; the percentage of infant vaccinations to births in the last recorded period and in the previous corresponding periods since 1897; and whether he proposes to rely on present methods of sanitary administration and of vaccination administration to check the further spread of the disease or to promote, and, if so, in what way, a fuller recourse to protection by vaccination?
As the answer contains a number of figures I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT. the number of children born, the number vaccinated, the number in respect of whom certificates of conscientious objection have been furnished by the parents during the four years ending 31st December, 1924, and also the number of prosecutions which have been taken in respect of those who have neither been vaccinated or whose parents have not obtained certificates of conscientious objection; and will he take steps to ensure that the Vaccination Acts are properly administered?