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Tuesday, 30 April 1957

Mr Swartz z asked the Minister acting for the Minister for Health, upon notice -

1.   Has the production programme for Salk vaccine progressed sufficiently to allow continuity of supply for the treatment of school children?

2.   What proportion of eligible children is being treated? 3, Is there any outstanding reason why permission is refused by parents of children not available for treatment? 4, Is it anticipated that ultimately there will be sufficient Salk vaccine available for treatment of adults in Australia?

Mr Townley - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   Yes.

2.   The proportion of children attending for poliomyelitis immunization has differed from State to State. Estimates range from 85 per cent. to 95 per cent. of the population in the priority age groups. It appears that this difference is determined by the ability or otherwise of the immunizing authority to offer immunization to children whose parents at first withheld consent and delayed the return of consent cards until it was too late to include their children in the current campaign.

3.   No.

4.   It is expected that all children in the six months to fourteen years age group will have received two doses of vaccine by July of this year. Thereafter, it is expected that production of vaccine at the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories will be sufficient to permit the extension of planned immunization to adults.

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