HC Deb 13 June 1882 vol 270 cc978-9

asked the President of the Local Government Board, Whether his attention has been called to the verdict of a coroner's jury at Hollo-way, of "shock to the system following vaccination," the medical evidence being that the child in question might have survived two incisions, but was unable to withstand the shock caused by four; and, whether the British Medical Journal is correct in asserting that— It is imperative for public vaccinators to make four scarifications, in accordance with the directions of the Local Government Board?


My attention has been called to the verdict in this case, but as yet I have only been able to obtain a brief report in a newspaper of the evidence, and I have directed a further inquiry into the circumstances of the case. It is true that the instructions issued several years ago by the Privy Council direct the public vaccinators to make such punctures as would produce four vesicles; but, according to the experience of the Department, no harm has resulted from this practice, which is considered requisite to insure effectual vaccination. According to the report, it was stated by the medical witness at the inquest that the public vaccinator would not necessarily make himself acquainted with the physical condition of the child before vaccination. This, however, is entirely a misapprehension, as the official instructions expressly direct the public vaccinator to ascertain the state of the child's health before he undertakes to vaccinate it.