People queue for smallpox vaccination in April, 1959

People queueing for smallpox vaccination at the People's Clinic and the Government Outdoor Clinic on April 16, 1959.

The process to convert Singapore from a British colony to a self-governing state began a year earlier. The country achieved internal self-government in the middle of 1959, when the constitution came into force with the formation of Singapore's first fully elected government.

A mass-inoculation programme against tuberculosis, smallpox, diphtheria and poliomyelitis was also later launched.

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