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Diphtheria (Immunisation)

Volume 415: debated on Thursday 8 November 1945

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asked the Minister of Health how many children have been immunised during each of the last five years; what has been the total cost of such practice; how many doctors have been engaged in these operations; whether he has any information as to how many children have had diphtheria after the operation; and how many have subsequently died.

:The numbers of children under 15 immunised against diphtheria in England and Wales under local authority arrangements during the past five years are as follow:

1940 and 1941 (separate totals not available)2,365,400
19421,399,750
19431,039,490
1944561,320
In the same period, during which diphtheria mortality in this country fell by nearly two-thirds, of 135,431 children notified as suffering from diphtheria 17,084 were immunised and 118,347 unimmunised; and of 3,346 children who died from diphtheria 118 were immunised and 3,228 unimmunised.The cost of carrying out immunisation falls on local authorities except for the cost of the toxoid supplied to them free by the Government, which has averaged about £13,500 a year. I have no information about the number of doctors who, as medical officers of local authorities or as practitioners engaged on a sessional basis, have taken part in this work.