HC Deb 30 January 1956 vol 548 cc75-6W
82. Mr. Beswick

asked the Minister of Health what steps he has taken to secure a uniform policy amongst local health authorities with regard to the quarantine arrangements for poliomyelitis contacts.

Miss Hornsby-Smith

My right hon. Friend is advised that quarantine measures, if they should be necessary, should depend on local and individual circumstances as assessed by the Medical Officer of Health. General advice was issued to all local authorities in July, 1954, and a form of notice suggested which might be addressed to contacts. I am sending the hon. Member a copy of this memorandum.

85. Mr. P. Freeman

asked the Minister of Health to state the method of manufacture and contents of the new vaccine against poliomyelitis; what safety tests have been made to prove that it is not injurious to children; to what extent such tests have been made on children themselves; on how many and when; what evidence he has been able to otbain from his experiments on animals that a similar effect will be produced in children; what is the total annual cost of this vaccine; and what are the estimated costs for its administration.

Miss Hornsby-Smith

The vaccine is manufactured from strains of the three types of poliomyelitis virus grown on tissue culture and inactivated by formalin; among the safety tests which will be imposed on each batch before release is the injection of the vaccine into cortisone-treated monkeys for the observation of effects. Monkeys so treated are highly sensitive to poliomyelitis virus. There is no question whatever of using the vaccine on children in order to test its safety and my right hon. Friend is assured that the tests should preclude any danger from the use of this vaccine in children. Experiments on animals and the widespread use of Salk vaccine in other countries give sufficient evidence of the value of Salk-type vaccines in affording considerable protection against paralytic poliomyelitis. The Estimates for the National Health Service will include provision for the cost of the vaccine next year and for grant in respect of arrangements for vaccination made by local health authorities; I must ask the hon. Member to await their publication.