§ Dr. David Owen
asked the Minister of Health what plans he has to introduce vaccination against measles; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. K. Robinson
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and I have received from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation a recommendation, based on trials conducted by the Medical Research Council, that children up to age 15 who have not had the disease should be protected against measles by vaccination. We shall shortly be consulting the local authority associations and others concerned with a view to the general introduction of this vaccination in the Spring under existing powers. Initially there will be a small additional cost, but the suffering and family distress caused by measles will be reduced, as will the burden that the disease throws on the treatment resources of the National Health Service. We expect the savings eventually to overtake the cost of the vaccination campaign.