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Summer Travelers Advised To Begin Shots at Once

Inoculations Required


Students who plan to travel overseas during the coming summer should start getting their immunization shots right away, according to Dr. John C. Wells, assistant physician for the University Health Services.

In particular, prospective travelers should immediately begin their series of tetanus shots, since they take two full months to administer. The Health Service advises tetanus shots for anyone leaving the country. In the case of those who have been innoculated within the past five years, however, only a booster shot may be necessary.

A typhoid innoculation and a vaccination against smallpox are also standard procedure for travelers to all foreign countries. Three typhoid shots are required, and they must be spaced 7 to 28 days apart.

The smallpox vaccination is a painless, one-shot affair. Nonetheless, it is necessary, since those who cannot produce a certificate vouching for their vaccination will find it difficult to persuade U.S. officials to allow them to re-enter the country.

These three innoculations should be enough for anyone planning to visit the conventional tourist centers of Europe. Those who wish to travel elsewhere may have to take additional shots, however.

Mid-Eastern and Asian travellers, for example, should consult the Health Service about the necessity for typhus and cholera shots. Visitors to South America, Africa, and other tropical areas may have to be innoculated against yellow fever.

The tetanus, typhoid, and smallpox innoculations are offered without charge by the Health Service, as part of the student medical plan. The service will administer typhus and cholera shots, but students much purchase the vaccine for these. Yellow fever shots are handled only by U.S. Public Health Service hospitals.

Of the various shots, only typhoid and typhus are at all likely to produce any reaction. Even these rarely have more effect than "leaving you a little rocky for 24 hours," according to Dr. Wells.

Wells also urged that anyone who has not yet been vaccinated against polio make an appointment for a first shot as soon as possible. The second shot follows in about a month. The vaccine is offered free by the state of Massachusetts to anyone under 20.

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