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Thursday, 4 April 1957

Dr DONALD CAMERON (OXLEY, QUEENSLAND) - Approximately 1,300,000 children, about half the eligible population up to the age of 14 /ears and approximately 200,000 other per;ons have now received two injections of he vaccine. I cannot give the right honorable gentleman an accurate dissection of how many of these are children and how many ure adults. The number of adults is com.paratively small. They have been expectant mothers and nurses engaged in the nursing of poliomyelitis cases. The areas covered by the campaign have, of course, been within the determination of the States; that s to say, the actual administration of the vaccine is carried out by the State Health departments. They have covered not only city areas but extensive country areas as veil. The co-operation between State health Departments and the Commonwealth and between the medical profession md the Commonwealth has been excellent ind there has been no hitch in the giving if the vaccine. The only unforeseen difficulty that has occurred was an outbreak of disease amongst the monkeys used for testng the vaccine towards the end of last year. This occurred not in the monkeys from which the vaccine is made but in the animals on which it is tested after manufacture. It did cause some slight delay in he release of prepared vaccine, because the testing of some batches was delayed. How.ever, as it occurred, rather fortunately, during the period of school holidays, the actual effect on the rate of inoculation was almost negligible. We were able to secure fresh monkeys and the vaccine is now in full production. The answer to the right honorible gentleman's other question, as to whether we are self-contained, is " Yes ". We are producing all the vaccine in Australia that we can use.

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