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

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London County Council 1934

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for London County Council]

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The numbers of children residing in these schools and homes on 31st December,
who had not been Schick-tested, were as follows:—
Residential Residential
schools and special
children's schools.
New admissions194 23
Parental consent refused155 34
Not tested for other reasons81 6
Total430 63
The medical officers of the schools state generally that there has been little
or no local or general reaction to the formol toxoid, that the process of immunisation
has not interfered with the ordinary routine of the children in their home and school
life and that the percentage of parental refusals is comparatively small. They
further state that there is often delay in receiving consents, due apparently to lack
of interest on the part of the parents.
The following report made by Dr. A. W. Soper, the medical officer of Anerley
residential school, is of interest, as it shows the results obtained in one of the largest
of the Council's residential schools and children's homes:—
Active immunisation was commenced at this school early in 1934:—
Number of children Schick-tested 459
„ „ positive 147
„ ,, negative 312
„ who left before completion of immunisation 16
„ of parental consents refused 28
„ of children completely immunised (re-Schick negative) 131
Eleven children were admitted to the infirmary with slight pyrexia, the longest time in the
infirmary being three days. One child developed diphtheria on the 3rd day after the Schick
The introduction of the scheme of active immunisation against diphtheria at
Mile Oak approved school, with accommodation for 150 boys, was authorised by
the Education Committee on 25th April, 1934, after the consent of the Home Office
had been obtained. The work, which was begun in August, was undertaken for
the first few weeks by Dr. L. J. M. Laurent of the Western hospital, and was taken
over by Dr. F. H. Allfrey, the medical officer of the school, in October.
During the year, 167 boys were Schick-tested and of these, 43 gave positive
reactions, 121 were negative and 3 left before the result of the test was read. The
course of three injections was completed, followed by negative re-tests in the cases
of 34 boys, 3 left the school before immunisation had been completed, and there
remained 6 for completion of the immunising process in 1935. Twelve boys had
not been Schick-tested at the end of 1934.
scarlet fever.
Active immunisation against scarlet fever of the children at the Shirley residential
school was commenced on 1st February, 1934. Dr. C. M. Jones, the medical officer
of the school, took over the work in April from Dr. L. J. M. Laurent of the
Western hospital.
Active immunisation against scarlet fever has been continued at Mayford
approved school by Dr. L. G. Higgins, the medical officer of the school.

The progress of the work at these two schools during 1934 is shown in the following table:—

Shirley residential school.Mayford approved school.
Number tested for susceptibility for scarlet fever46945
Number of susceptibles found6615
Number who completed the full immunising course and gave negative reactions on re-test527
Number who left the schools before immunising course had been completed3-
Number outstanding on 31st December, 1934, who had received one or more injections and whose course of immunisation was to be completed in 1935118