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Vaccination Regulations

Volume 497: debated on Friday 21 March 1952

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asked the Minister of Health whether, in agreeing to the imposition of vaccination regulations on travellers from Great Britain to other countries, he has considered that there are large numbers of conscientious objectors to vaccination in this country, and that vaccination frequently causes illness and occasionally death; and whether, in view of these facts, he will make representations to the World Health Organisation with a view to inserting in the International Sanitary Convention provision for the exemption from any vaccination requirement of persons who produce proof of conscientious or religious objection to vaccination and those who produce medical certificates that vaccination is likely to injure their health.

Her Majesty's Government opposed the inclusion in the International Sanitary Regulations of the provision enabling a country to require travellers to be vaccinated. The provision is, however, permissive only and a country exercising this power can allow such exemptions as it considers desirable. I am satisfied that a proposal to make exemption compulsory in particular cases would not find general acceptance.