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Vaccination

Volume 436: debated on Friday 2 May 1947

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asked the Minister of Health what diseases, other than post-vaccinal encephalitis, were connected with deaths from vaccinia or associated with vaccination in each of the years 1939 to 1945 and the ages of such cases.

On certificates of deaths in England and Wales in the years 1939 to 1945 in which reference was made to vaccinia or vaccination the following diseases, few of which I am advised can have had any connection with vaccination, were also mentioned:1939.—Acute haemorrhagic encephalitis, aged 17; septicaemia, aged 4 months; broncho-pneumonia, aged 20; myocardial failure, aged 31.1940.—Pneumonia, aged 14 months; broncho-pneumonia, aged 6 months; acute myocarditis, acute gastro-enteritis, aged 2 months.

1941.—Diarrhoea and vomitting, infection vaccination scar, aged 5 months. encephalitis, post-vaccinal whooping cough, aged 2; meningitis, aged 5 months; meningo-encephalitis, later amended to post-vaccinal encephalitis. cerebro-spinal (meningococcal) meningitis, aged 29

1942.—Hypostatic pneumonia, aged 18; broncho-pneumonia, aged 29; hyperpyrexia, convulsions, pneumococcal septicaemia, aged 7 months; broncho pneumonia, aged 5 months.

1943.—Cystitis and ascending pyelonephritis and broncho-pneumonia. aged 20; acute bronchitis, aged 17.

1944.—Right mastoiditis, aged 13 months; broncho-pneumonia, aged 6 weeks; syncope, myocardial degeneration, septicaemia, rachitic from birth, chronic enteritis, aged 21 months; acute toxaemia, cellulitis arm and thoracic wall, aged 4 months; embolic pneumonia, cellulitis left leg, secondary autointoxication, aged 4 months.

1945.—Streptococcal septicaemia, mastoditis, gastro-enteritis, aged 5 months; pulmonary collapse, aged 3 months; coma due to an affection of the nervous system of unknown cause coinciding with a primary vaccination reaction, aged 31.

asked the Minister of Health whether, in view of the serious results of vaccination in many instances, he will advise medical officers to refrain from urging smallpox contacts to be vaccinated and leave the question of vaccination entirely to the free decision of the contacts, making it known to the contact that he is free to decide for himself in the matter.

No, Sir. III effects from vaccination are exceptional and the risks are of much less consequence than the dangers of smallpox.