MN Health Officials Ask Imams To Push For Measles Vaccinations

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — With another three weeks of Ramadan and its gatherings, health care workers in Minnesota are seeking help from religious leaders to control the state’s measles outbreak, which has hit the Muslim Somali community the hardest.

Children’s Minnesota’s Elham Ashkar says imams in their position of power can help spread the word that vaccination is in the best interest of the community. False information suggesting the measles vaccine can cause autism has driven down immunization rates in the Somali community.

Minnesota Public Radio says Children’s Minnesota has given Somali community leaders pictures of some of the children in the hospital suffering from measles, hoping they will provide a powerful incentive to vaccinate.

Minnesota has had more measles cases in the past two months than the entire country had all last year.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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