HC Deb 04 February 1957 vol 564 c6
34. Sir K. Joseph

asked the Minister of Health how many deaths there were in 1955 from smallpox; and whether he is satisfied that vaccination continues to be universally used to protect infants from this disease.

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

None. Vaccination is the generally accepted means of personal protection against smallpox and I should like more infants vaccinated in this country.

Mrs. Jeger

Can the Minister say whether there is any falling off in the number of children being vaccinated?

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

The figure has actually risen slightly to 36.4 per cent.

Dr. Summerskill

Can the Minister say what propaganda he carries out on the subject?

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

As the right hon. Lady will know very well, compulsory vaccination was abolished, but I am given to understand that the percentage now vaccinated is not much lower than the figure of vaccinations before the statutory necessity was abolished. Circulars on the subject of vaccination are sent to the local authorities every year.

Sir K. Joseph

Will the Parliamentary Secretary consider giving maximum publicity to this information so that the rate of vaccination will increase again?

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

The local health authorities are primarily responsible for vaccination, but certainly the Ministry of Health will do all that is possible to give emphasis to it.