HC Deb 19 February 1914 vol 58 cc1120-1
77. Mr. W. THORNE

asked the President of the Local Government Board whether the calf vaccine lymph used for the Navy is supplied by his Department; whether he is aware that according to the annual reports of the health of the Navy the cases of cowpox placed on the sick list in consequence of vaccination, which were 233 in 1908, had increased to 482 in 1909, to 688 in 1910, to 845 in 1911, and to 1,255 in 1912; whether he can give any explanation of these increases of the ill effects of the operation; and whether he will consider the advisability of suspending the issuing of vaccine lymph until such time as there is a considerable improvement upon the present variety?


The answer to the first two parts of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the third part of the question, I understand that the increase in the number of cases placed on the sick list is due chiefly to the much greater care now exercised in preventing the possibility of untoward occurrences following on vaccination. With this object in view, men and boys are now, in a greater number of cases recorded as being on the sick list after vaccination, and are consequently excused from duty for a few days. The character of the lymph supplied has no bearing on the question, and I see no reason for any alteration of the present procedure.