Florida Among the Lowest Vaccination Rates

As of late, vaccination is a hot topic, and according to an analysis by WalletHub, Florida is among one of the least vaccinated states. There are only two other states who are below Florida — Mississippi and Texas. 

WalletHub, which is a personal finance website, released a report on Wednesday, October 9th, ranking the school immunization reports. The statements were based on the states which had uninsured rates and disease outbreaks. Florida ranked the lowest in several ways.   

When it comes to children, Florida is rated 50th for influenza vaccination. Adults vaccinated for tetanus are 49, and vaccination coverage for the overall flu among adults was 46th. All low numbers when it comes to the health of adults in the state of Florida. 


What is behind the low numbers? Florida has seen a flareup on religious exemptions which have been filed by parents to the Florida Department of Health. Having that on file waives mandatory immunization for school-aged children. 

From 2011 and 2018, the number of religious exemptions jumped each year from about 6,500 students to almost 25,000, according to wfla.com. ‘sThat’s an increase of nearly 375 percent over that period. 

Florida has had its fair share of infectious disease in recent years. What was the latest outbreak? Florida was declared a state of emergency over the hepatitis A outbreaks in August of 2019. 

WalletHub analyzed the 50 states plus the District of Columbia across 18 different categories. They wanted to find out exactly where each area lies. Out of 51 states, Florida was 49. 

Children, however, are saving Florida even if it’s just a little. Florida came to a top spot where children under 6-years-old participating in the immunization information system. Florida came in fourth place there.  

Aiming for Change in 2020:

According to the Florida Department of Health, there’s a permanent medical exemption that is documented on Form DH 680, which can grant a child not entirely to be immunized due to medical reasons. The ‘child’s physician must state in writing the reasons for the exemption based on valid clinical reasoning or evidence, according to wfla.com. 

The Form DH 681, which is a religious exemption from immunization, will be granted if there is a conflict with the religious tenets and practices of those of the child’s parents or guardian. The exemption is issued by the County Health Department (CHD). It’sIt’s also based on established religious beliefs or practices only.  

If accepted, the bill would remove exemptions from school-entry health examinations and immunization requirements for religious reasons. The bill will also restrict the ability to obtain a medical waiver, according to a report made by wfla.com.