HC Deb 11 November 1937 vol 328 c1889W
Mr. Leach

asked the Minister of Health, whether he is aware that Madge Barstow, a Leeds girl of 13 years of age, died from diphtheria after two days' illness, four years after immunisation; that the girl was one of four children all of whom had been immunised, and that she had visited the clinic nine times in all when undergoing the treatment, and had been finally certified by the medical officer as immune; that the medical officer of health confused the dead girl with a younger sister who was not pronounced immune after the inoculations; and whether he will confer with the persons responsible for diphtheria immunisation, with a view to issuing certificates in respect of all children pronounced immune, so that they may be produced for confirmation should such children subsequently contract diphtheria?

Sir K. Wood

I am informed by the local authority that the child to whom the hon. Member refers died from diphtheria three years after she had received two immunising injections. She was one of four sisters who were taken to the immunisation clinic which she attended on six occasions. A final Schick test gave a positive result and her mother was informed that she was not immune. In regard to the last part of the question, I am advised that the production of a certificate of this nature might prejudice a child in the event of his contracting diphtheria by delaying the specific treatment.

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