Smallpdx (Vaccination).

Oral Answers to Questions — Housing. – in the House of Commons on 7th May 1925.

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Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

78.

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?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

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.

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

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who are now evading vaccination in the ease of their children, and will he consider reimposing the Regulation which was repealed by the party opposite when they were in power?

Captain A. EVANS:

What percentage of these objections are medical and conscientious?

Photo of Mr Ernest Thurtle Mr Ernest Thurtle , Shoreditch

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?

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

That question must be put down on the Paper.

Photo of Dr Thomas Watts Dr Thomas Watts , Manchester, Withington

91.

asked the Minister of Health if he will furnish figures showing

Number of BirthsNumber of children vaccinatedNumber of children in respect of whom certificates of conscientious objection were received
1921849,069324,864282,157
1991780,277314,550347,511

I have no information as to the number of cases in which proceedings have been taken for the enforcement of the provisions of the Vaccination Acts during the years in question.

As regards the last part of the question, the administration of the Vaccination Acts is in the hands of, the boards of guardians and their vaccination officers.

Photo of Sir Francis Fremantle Sir Francis Fremantle , St Albans

92.

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?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

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?

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

As the answer contains a number of figures, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer.

I am not yet able to give the information asked for in the first part of the question for the years 1923 and 1924. For 1921 and 1922 the figures are as follows:

Photo of Sir Francis Fremantle Sir Francis Fremantle , St Albans

Could the right hon. Gentleman give an answer in regard to the latter part of the question.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN:

I am very carefully watching the circumstances connected with the increase of small-pox, but at the present time I do nut think it is necessary to issue any fresh Regulations.

Following is the answer.

The following are the figures asked for in the first part of the question:

PeriodNo. of cases of small-poxNo. of death
First 4 months of 19223171
First 4 months of 1923692
First 4 months of 19241, 5693
First 4 months of 19252, 214*3
* Provisional figure.

The latest year for which the percentage of infant vaccination to births cart at present be given is 1922. The figures for that and previous 'years were given in my reply to a question on this subject by the hon. Member for Stratford on the 9th April.

As regards the last part of the. question, I am carefully watching the course of the present outbreak of small-pox, but as at present advised I do not consider it at this time necessary or expedient to modify the existing administrative arrangements for dealing with small-pox.