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Class of 1989 must get measles vaccination

By Edward Whang

MIT will require next year's entering class, and all subsequent classes, to be immunized for measles and German measles before registration, according to Dr. Mark A. Goldstein, chief of Student Health Services.

The measles epidemic at Boston University (BU) prompted the decision to require the vaccinations.

Massachusetts officials have proposed legislation to require students entering colleges in the Commonwealth to be immunized against a variety of diseases, Goldstein said. He projected that the law would affect students entering college in 1986.

MIT established a clinic last week to vaccinate students. The clinic immunized over 1200 MIT students, Goldstein said. Free measles vaccinations are still available at the health center, but appointments are necessary.

The vaccination clinic was apparently effective. Only a few isolated cases of measles occurred at MIT, Goldstein said. The Medical Department verified two cases of measles.

The health center examined five students for measles symptoms. They were soon discharged, Goldstein said. The Medical Department reported that no one is currently under surveillance for measles.

The vaccinations affected the Technology Community Association (TCA) Spring Blood Drive. Blood drive chairman Donald Kane '85 said the measles epidemic and the vaccination clinic "certainly affected us some." He estimated that 100 pints of potentially donated blood were lost to the epidemic situation.

Persons wanting to donate blood must not have had measles immunization within two weeks of donation, according to medical requirements published by TCA.

"A lot of people made it a point to come to the drive first, then get vaccinated," Kane said.

Goldstein is optimistic that the epidemic will end soon. "Intermingling between our students and BU students was the main cause of the cases here. If a problem should develop at Northeastern University, I just hope students will be careful."

Cases of measles have appeared on campuses throughout the country. College age students are the high risk group because most do not have natural immunity and many have not receive vaccinations, Goldstein said.

Three BU students returned from spring vacation with measles. They are now in isolation. The university has reported no other cases this week.