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Armed Forces (Vaccination)

Volume 393: debated on Tuesday 2 November 1943

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asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the considerable num- ber of soldiers whose health has been affected by vaccination and of the cases of encephalitis in the Army caused by vaccination, some of them fatal, he will instruct the Service Departments to follow the advice given on several occasions by the Ministry of Health in its official reports and stop the vaccination of young persons who have not been vaccinated in infancy?

Vaccination is not compulsory in the Armed Services, but in the view of the Ministry of Health it is desirable that any persons going abroad or otherwise liable to be exposed to smallpox infection should be vaccinated even if they are young persons who have not previously been vaccinated. In the circumstances I am not prepared to issue instructions as my hon. Friend suggests.