Infectious Diseases: Too Many Shots

Virtually every U.S. infant born under a doctor's care gets three shots, spaced a month apart, of a three-way vaccine against diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus, or "lockjaw." Most children receive a booster shot a year later. Many get additional tetanus toxoid boosters in school or college—and, of course, in the armed forces.

Are all these shots necessary? No, says a group of experts headed by Harvard's Dr. Thomas C. Peebles, who shared a Nobel prize for his part in the research that made polio vaccines possible. The experts do not intend...

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