London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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Kensington 1895

The annual report on the health, sanitary condition, &c., &c., of the Parish of St. Mary Abbotts, Kensington for the year 1895

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Table X. (Appendix) is a return respecting vaccination in
1894—the return for 1895 is not yet complete—compiled by
Mr. Shattock, the Vaccination Officer, whose energetic
discharge of the duties of his appointment it is always a
pleasing duty to recognise. It is stated in his report that of
3,689 infants whose births were registered, 2,948 were successfully
vaccinated ; 342 died before attaining the age for vaccination,
or from ill-health were not fit for vaccination.
Some 310 cases are unaccounted for, equivalent to a loss of
8.4 per cent, on the total number of births—compared with
losses of 5.4, 5.9, 6.0, 6.5, 6.7, 8.0, 8.7 and 7.7 per cent, in
the preceding eight years respectively—" from removal of
children to places, out of the parish, unknown, or which
cannot be reached, and cases not having been found." The
proportion of unvaccinated persons in this parish, as the
above figures testify, must be increasing year by year. Of
the 2,948 successful vaccinations, 1,917, (65 per cent.) were
performed at the public stations and the parish infirmary, viz.,
1,247 at the Notting Hill station; 374 at the south station,
and 296 at the infirmary. The re-vaccinations at these
places were 492. " Calf vaccine continues much in request at
the south station, where 97 operations were performed from
that source, whilst at the north station in only about 10 per
cent, of the cases did parents require calf vaccine." It is
stated in a report of the Local Government Board that the
average number of lost cases in respect of the year 1890, in
the Metropolis, as a whole, was 9.8 per cent.—a proportion
which has since then increased considerably. Kensington, so
far, has not fallen to quite so low a level. The too long deferred
report of the Royal Commission on vaccination is awaited with
ill-disguised impatience. The delay in its production, by
encouraging Boards of Guardians to disregard their duty of
carrying out the law, has produced disastrous results, of which
the country will feel the effects for many a year to come.