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Smallpox (Ss "Mooltan")

Volume 465: debated on Wednesday 1 June 1949

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asked the Minister of Health whether the passengers from the s.s. "Mooltan" who developed smallpox after reaching their destinations were vaccinated before they left the ship; and whether the three passengers who refused vaccination and went to Glasgow developed smallpox.

Excluding the original case and his wife, 10 passengers developed smallpox. Of these 10, nine were vaccinated before they left the ship but the tenth, I am informed, declined. The individual dates on which the 10 persons were infected on board the ship are of course unknown, but might have been at any time between 21st March and 2nd April. If the infection occurred some days prior to vaccination, vaccination would not necessarily prevent the disease developing. I am informed by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland that the 18 contacts who went to Glasgow were all vaccinated or revaccinated before leaving the s.s. "Mooltan" and that none of them developed smallpox.