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International Sanitary Conventions

Volume 411: debated on Monday 11 June 1945

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asked the Minister of Health why, in view of the failure of vaccination to protect against smallpox in Army personnel in Egypt in some cases even for two months, it is proposed in the International Sanitary Conventions for Maritime and Aerial Navigation to fix the validity of a certificate of vaccination against smallpox at not more than three years from the date of issue; and what percentage of the population of England and Wales have been protected against smallpox by vaccination within three years of the present date.

The period of three years which is specified in the form of International Certificate of Vaccination against Smallpox recommended in the International Sanitary Conventions of 1944, and which relates, as the form shows, to a vaccination or re-vaccination found by the certifying doctor on inspection to have given satisfactory results, had been recommended by international bodies of high competence and experience before its inclusion in the Conventions of 1944 by the participating Governments. As regards the alleged failure of vaccination of military personnel in Egypt, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply to his question addressed to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs on the 5th June. As regards the last part of the Question, I am not in possession of statistics which provide this information.