HC Deb 24 November 1958 vol 596 cc23-4
53. Mr. Scholefield Allen

asked the Minister of Health how many children up to 15 years of age, to the latest available date, have been registered for inoculation against poliomyelitis; how many of such children have been inoculated once and twice, respectively; what percentage of the child population up to 15 years of age has not been registered for inoculation; and what is the number of such children.

Mr. Walker-Smith

Up to the end of October 7,185,117 children up to 15 years of age in Great Britain had been registered, of whom 6,320,717 had received two doses of vaccine and 303,149 their first injection. Forty-one per cent., or just over 5 million, had still not been registered out of just over 12¼ million eligible children.

Mr. Scholefield Allen

Is the Minister satisfied that all possible steps have been taken to persuade parents to register their children, to satisfy them about the extremely slight risks of inoculation, risks comparable to risks with other inoculations, and to give the widest publicity to the need for inoculation against this scourge?

Mr. Walker-Smith

Yes, Sir; I am doing what I can to raise the acceptance rate and am helping local health authorities with their publicity. I fully agree with the hon. and learned Gentleman about the necessity for parents who have not already done so to register their children as soon as possible.

Dr. Summerskill

Can the Minister tell the House whether there is still any resistance to the American vaccine?

Mr. Walker-Smith

There are still a few people who have registered for British vaccine without the alternative of accepting American vaccine, but it is a relatively small number.

Mr. Chetwynd

Is the vaccine supply position now adequate to meet the hoped for increased demand?

Mr. Walker-Smith

Yes, Sir; there are ample supplies of vaccine for further registrations.