HC Deb 06 March 1961 vol 636 c16
27. Mrs. McLaughlin

asked the Minister of Health why it is not possible for persons over 40 years of age to be vaccinated for poliomyelitis except by their general practitioners.

The Minister of Health (Mr. J. Enoch Powell)

Arrangements are made through local authorities where general immunisation is aimed at. This is not necessary for those over 40, whose natural immunity against poliomyelitis is normally high.

Mrs. McLaughlin

Is the Minister aware that in many cases mass vaccination is offered at factories and other places of work and matters are made very difficult if age discrimination is to come in? Where this vaccination is being done, is it not possible for the Minister to remove this age barrier?

Mr. Powell

Mass vaccination with a view to obtaining 100 per cent. immunity is medically called for only up to the age of 40, and I do not think that it would be justifiable to put this obligation on the local authorities in relation to people over that age.