HL Deb 20 December 1961 vol 236 cc826-8WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many persons at Hull received one, two, three or four inoculations against poliomyelitis; how many in these classes respectively and how many who had had no inoculation contracted this disease, in how many of these groups was the attack fatal and in how many did it result in permanent crippling.


I assume that the noble Lord is referring to inoculations under the routine programme and not to those given under the emergency arrangements which began on 17th October, 1961. The following is the information in a form which takes account of the fact that immunisation was proceeding actively during the outbreak:

In the circumstances of this outbreak a calculation of rates from these figures would be misleading. One injection does not confer immunity if the recipient has no natural immunity. Many first doses were given, especially to unprotected contacts, in the early stages of the outbreak. Some of those contacts would be infected already and, if so, would develop the disease, if at all, before they could receive a second dose. Only about a week after the second dose does any real protective effect appear. A third dose is needed within a year. For the purpose, therefore, of assessing the effectiveness of the routine immunisation those who had had only one injection, and some of those who had had two, should be grouped with those who had had none.

It is too early to assess the extent and the degree of permanence of any residual paralysis in individual patients.

House adjourned at seventeen minutes before eight o'clock for the Christmas Recess.