Minn. marking National Infant Immunization Weekby Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Minnesota Health Department officials say this year's observance of National Infant Immunization Week is particularly significant.
Twenty-one cases of measles have been reported this year, and three children died from measles in the state's last big outbreak in 1990.
The department's director of infectious diseases, Kristen Ehresmann, said vaccines protect children when they are most vulnerable to infectious diseases.
"A number of the vaccines are intended to be given in the child's first year of life," Ehresmann said. "The reason that's so important is we want children to be protected at the earliest age possible because many of these diseases are most severe when children are younger."
National Infant Immunization Week starts Saturday. Media events are scheduled in St. Cloud and Minneapolis Monday coincide with National Infant Immunization Week.
The Minnesota Department of Health will be putting out the message in the coming week that vaccines are safe and effective and don't cause autism. It's urging parents and health care providers to make sure that children's immunizations are up to date.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)