SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — State public health workers are increasing accessibility to vaccines in response to an outbreak of measles in the U.S. that includes seven cases in Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Public Health says it’s also expanding outreach in communities with low vaccination rates and educating the public on the importance of vaccines.

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker says his administration is “taking the threat posed by a rise in measles cases very seriously.”

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The department said Tuesday it is working with the Illinois State Board of Education to study why certain schools have lower vaccination rates and identify specifically who isn’t being vaccinated. The agency says the public should understand “we have the safest vaccine supply in U.S. history” and “vaccination protects you from illness, and also protects the community around you.”

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