Compulsory Vaccination in NSW

The Goulburn Herald and County of Argyle Advertiser

11 November 1857

The presence of small pox in Melbourne has directed unwonted attention to the subject of vaccination, and in the Legislative Council, Dr. Douglass has introduced a "Bill to render vaccination compulsory throughout the colony of New South Wales."

After the date of the Act coming into operation, the parent or guardian of any child, shall (within six months in the settled and twelve months in the unsettled districts, after registration of birth) cause the child to be taken to a duly qualified medical practitioner for the purpose of being vaccinated. In the absence or death of parent or guardian the period is prolonged to twelve and eighteen months respectively.

Upon successful vaccination the surgeon will grant his certificate to that effect, which may be admitted as evidence in any information or complaint. If when a child is taken before a medical man, he should think the child not at the time to be in a fit and proper state to be vaccinated, he shall issue a certificate to that effect; the parent must within the period of three calender months again take the child before the medical practitioner, and the issue of the certificate must be repeated every three months, until vaccination has been successfully completed.

The registrar or deputy registrar of births, deaths, and marriages, must at the registration of every birth give a written notice to the parent, &e., that it is his duty to have the child vaccinated in accordance with the provisions of the Act. If the parent neglect to comply therewith, he will be liable to be fined in an amount not yet fixed. Children born out of the colony must be vaccinated within two months after arrival under a penalty of forty shillings.

All persons born in the colony who have not been vaccinated, must within six months of the passing of the Act undergo the operation under a penalty of --- pounds. All penalties  imposed by the Act may be recovered before any Justice of the Peace for the town, city, or place, where the offender resides. In case of non-payment of fines, a distress warrant may issue, and in default of satisfaction, the convicted party may be imprisoned for any term not exceeding one month.