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Measles Scare Shouldn't Have Cancelled Trip



Last Saturday morning, summer-school students gathered at 7:45 a.m. for the Martha's Vineyard trip. They were soon told that the trip had been cancelled due to the number of students that did not have their measles immunizations.

I am outraged at the lack of common sense in the cancellation of this trip and the tardiness of the cancellation itself. Boldfaced "Measles Alert" signs had been posted on every wall of the campus for a week. All students were instructed either to receive shots or to show proof of immunization. This involved standing on an interminably long line in Loker Commons. We all received a stamp from UHS, showing that we had been immunized at some point in our life, and presumably, this ended the measles scare for most of the campus.

However, it is only when a group of 90 students prepared to spend a day at the beach, that the activities office assumes we are all infected and cancels the trip.

Instead of sending us all home, I feel we should have been required to show our stamped health forms showing proof of the vaccinations. In this manner, only students who had not received the immunizations would have been forbidden from going on the trip. We have those stamped health forms for a reason--to show that we are immune to the measles. I received my immunizations 17 years ago. Now I can't go on a trip to the beach because someone else forgot to get vaccinated?

Why did the activities office wait until the morning of the trip to notify us of the threat we posed to the entire island of Martha's Vineyard? Furthermore, if this is a sort of quarantine for us, why are the gates of Harvard open for the unsuspecting foreign tourist to contract measles? We can take the T into Boston, a thriving metropolis stuffed with people from all over the world-but we can't take a bus to the beach for fear of contaminating the Vineyard?

The administrators of Harvard University have an obligation to control the spread of this highly infectious disease, but I thought immunizations were the answer. Apparently I was wrong. Here comes the quarantine. --Kevin E. Meyers   Summer School Student

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