Unvaccinated Students Warned Of Campus Ban In Boston Measles Epidemic
BOSTON (AP) _ With at least 20 new cases reported this week in its measles epidemic, Boston University warned students Friday to get vaccinations or face a ban on campus activities that could extend to classes.
Officials said students who have not been inoculated or have not proved by Thursday that they are immune to measles, may be barred from the library, athletic center, computer center, dormitories, and cafeterias, and possibly, classes.
Since the epidemic broke out at the 28,000-student campus last month, 85 cases have been confirmed, including this week’s 20, said Fred Botting, assistant director of student health services. The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta has said that college campuses are at high risk for measles epidemics.
University spokesman Jon Keller said, ″Obviously there are going to be some people who will face dreaded disciplinary action before they get vaccinated. It’s still a very serious situation and the epidemic is by no means over.″
He said the new order covers about 3,500 students who had not complied by Friday with the school’s previous request to be vaccinated or provide a statement of immunity, signed by a doctor.
If students fail to do either, dean of students Ronald Carter told them in a letter, ″I shall have no choice but to impose disciplinary sanctions upon you which will affect your registration status at Boston University.″
Some students unable to proove that they had been vaccinated or were immune had already been turned away from some sports events, lectures and concerts, Keller said.
He said more than 6,000 students have been vaccinated at a university clinic.
The epidemic will be considered done when no measles cases have been reported for a two-week period, doctors said.
State health officials have asked other colleges in Massachusetts to review their records and require susceptible students to be inoculated. A few cases have been reported at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University and Boston College, state health officials said.