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

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Hackney 1968

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Hackney]

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adopted therefore, retains the earlier start at three months, a reinforcing
dose being given at 18 months and another just prior to school entry. A final
reinforcing dose near school leaving age will be included when it becomes
practicable. It was considered that the timing of smallpox vaccination should
remain unchanged, that is during the second year of life.
The number of children immunised against these diseases varied very
little from the figures for the previous year as can be seen in the tables
below. In fact a somewhat higher proportion were protected, taking into
account the lower number of births in 1968.

Completed PrimaryCourses

Type of vaccine or doseYear of birthTotal
Whooping Cough1,6002,088180733429124,016

Reinforcing Injections/Doses

Type of vaccine or doseYear of birthTotal
Whooping Cough169131,20214761121212,481
Smallpox Vaccination
Age0-3 months3-6 months6-9 months9-12 months1 year2-4 years5-14 yearsTotal
Primary vaccinations92117272,1264201392,759

Protection against measles by one injection with a live attenuated
vaccine began in 1967, and was continued on a limited scale until after April
1968. The supplies were sufficient to include all susceptible children whose
parents were agreeable, between the ages of 1 and 15 years. The main medical
argument in favour of measles vaccination in this country is the frequency
with which potentially serious complications of the disease occur, about 1
in 15 notified cases suffered from severe bronchitis, pneumonia, middle ear
infections and evidence of inflammation of the brain. Compared with these the
mild fever of short duration expected in a proportion of children vaccinated
is considered a small risk.
In the months of May, June, July and August an extended programme of measles
vaccination was carried out with simultaneous publicity for children between
their first and seventh birthdays, partly in the hope of reducing the scale of
any epidemic which according to the pattern of previous years might be expected
in the Autumn. The vaccinations were carried out in Child Health Centres,
schools and day nurseries, also to those under school age in the Council's
residential homes. Vaccine was made available to any general practitioners
wishing to use it. The number of children vaccinated during this time was 2,960.
Following this special programme of measles vaccination, It has been added to the
schedule of routine prophylactic injections for all children, and recommended
to be given only in the second year of life. It is too early, until the figures
of measles notifications for the Winter and Spring quarters of 1968/9 are
known, to say what effect this vaccination has had on attacks of the disease.