ST. PAUL  (AP) - National Infant Immunization Week starts Saturday, and it's taken on a special significance for Minnesota health officials this year.

Kristen Ehresmann, director of infectious diseases for the state health department, points out that it's happening at the same time as a measles outbreak that grew to 21 confirmed cases as of Thursday. It's the state's worst outbreak of the disease in two decades.

Erhresmann says so many children are vulnerable because of persistent misconceptions about vaccine safety that cause parents to hesitate to immunize their kids.

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.

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