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Poor Law (England And Wales)—The Guardians Of The Parish Of St Pancras—Vaccination Of Female Paupers Immediately After Child-Birth

Volume 282: debated on Thursday 2 August 1883

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asked the Secretary to the Local Government Board, Whether the Vestry or Guardians of Saint Pancras have applied to the Local Government Board for advice as to the propriety of vaccinating women within a few hours after childbirth; and, what, if any, answer has been given?

The Guardians of St. Pancras have approved a Re- port of a Committee in which they stated with reference to the case of the late Herbert Walsh, which has been the subject of several Questions in this House, that they do not see in the reported proceedings of the Coroner's inquest any evidence connecting the vaccination of the mother (Rosina Walsh) with the subsequent drying up of her milk. The Committee, however, regarded this question, as well as that raised by Mr. Dunlop, the medical officer, whether the possibility of small-pox ravaging a lying-in ward would, under the circumstances existing at the time, justify vaccination at so early a period as one day after confinement, as questions solvable by medical men only, and suggested that the matter be referred to the Board. The Board have replied that they have nothing to add to the expression of their views contained in their Circular Letter to Metropolitan Boards of Guardians of the 27th of January, 1881, and in the letter addressed to Mr. Dunlop in June last, a copy of which has been sent to the Guardians. In the last-mentioned letter the Board stated that they were advised that, while providing for the inmates of the workhouse in its several departments such re-vaccination as is proper in order to guard each department from danger of small-pox, it is undesirable to allow the accidents of the lying-in room to become confused in the minds of patients with the results of vaccination, and that the medical officer would do well to hold this consideration in view, as affecting the question of re-vaccinating women within a short period after labour.