HC Deb 18 July 1960 vol 627 cc14-5
9. Lord Balniel

asked the Minister of Health what arrangements he has made for trials in the use of oral live poliovirus vaccine; and how soon he expects to be in a position to decide whether such vaccine can be used in the immunisation programme.

Mr. Walker-Smith

The Medical Re- search Council is carrying out small scale trials of the Sabin oral vaccine. A decision as to the use of oral vaccine in this country's vaccination programme is unlikely to be reached for some time yet, as it will depend on the outcome of these trials and on the experience that is being gathered in other countries, and those who are eligible would be well advised to come forward now for vaccination under the current arrangements, if they have not already done so.

Lord Balniel

I do not wish to appear in any way critical, because this matter is so technical and there is the extremely important factor of risk, but does not my right hon. and learned Friend feel that we are, perhaps, moving rather slowly inasmuch as over 10 million people have been subjected to trials with this vaccine in the world?

Mr. Walker-Smith

No, Sir, I could not agree with by noble Friend in that. The experience of other countries in the trial and use of oral vaccines is not always necessarily applicable to conditions here. We keep a close watch on what goes on abroad, but that would in no way exempt us from the need to make our own trials here.