§ 44. Sir J. Langford-Holt
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how 59W many children each year became seriously ill following vaccination provided through the National Health Service; what responsibility is accepted by the National Health Service which administers the vaccines; and what compensation has been paid for brain damage, physical handicaps, blindness, dumbness and epilepsy, respectively, attributable to this cause.
§ Dr. Owen
I regret that precise information about the number and degree of adverse reactions to all types of vaccination is not available. Treatment whenever necessary is given under the health service. There is no entitlement to compensation at present, but this question clearly falls within the terms of reference of the Royal Commission on Compensation and Civil Liability and the Department has given evidence to this commission.
§ Mr. Biffen
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what assessment has been made of the number of children damaged by vaccination and what consideration has been given to providing a compensation scheme for children so injured.
§ Dr. Owen
I regret that information is not available to enable firm estimates of the number of children damaged by vaccination or immunisation to be made.
Any consideration of a scheme of compensation for such children must be affected by the Report of the Royal Commission on compensation and civil liability. I understand that the Royal Commission has received a copy of a report on compensation from the Association of Parents of Vaccine Damaged Children.
§ 45. Mr. Charles Irving
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what evidence she has of hardship caused by the closure of night shelters for destitute and homeless people as a result of the change of policy of the Supplementary Benefits Commission in awarding grants.
§ Mr. Alec Jones
I understand that, though the Supplementary Benefits Commission is reviewing its policy on grants to voluntary organisations, no change has yet been made.