Tuesday, 2 May 1939
Dáil Éireann Debate
Mr. Doyle: asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he will state in respect of each county and county borough and for each year in which immunisation schemes have been there in force, (a) the number of children immunised against diphtheria; (b) the number of immunised children who subsequently contracted diphtheria; (c) the number  of immunised children who died from diphtheria, and the gross totals in all three classes.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Local Government and Public Health (Dr. Ward): As regards the particulars required under headings (a) and (b) of the question, the information is available only for the group of years 1931 to 1935 and for each of the years 1936 and 1937. It is being compiled and will be furnished to the Deputy. The particulars required under heading (c) of the question are not available.
Mr. Doyle: asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he will state in respect of each county and county borough the total cost of diphtheria immunisation schemes in each financial year since their commencement.
Mr. Doyle: asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health if he is in a position to state in respect of the annual diphtheria mortality since 1928, the number of persons who died from the disease and who had been previously immunised against it; if not, if he will consider that in future returns of deaths from diphtheria there should be information available as to whether the deceased had been at any time immunised against the disease.
Dr. Ward: As regards the first part of the question, the reply is in the negative. The Deputy may, however, be interested to know that it is stated in the report of the medical superintendant officer of health for Cork County Borough for the year 1935 that between the years 1929 to 1935 there was a total of 184 deaths from diphtheria in Cork City and not one of these was a child who had been immunised against the disease. During that period over 12,000 had been immunised against the disease in Cork City. As regards the second part of the question, it is not possible to secure in returns of deaths from  diphtheria the inclusion of information as to whether the deceased was immunised unless all medical practitioners giving certificates of cause of death should agree to insert that information in the certificate. The matter has been under consideration with a view to having the information made available.
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