Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Few Floridians got swine flu shots

Despite calls from federal, state and local health officials — along with President Barack Obama and Gov. Charlie Crist — fewer than 20 percent of Floridians have been vaccinated against the H1N1 swine flu virus, according to new data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Vaccination rates varied widely, with the highest in northeastern states such as Rhode Island (38.8 percent) and Massachusetts (37.0), and the lowest in southeastern states including Mississippi (12.9) and Georgia (16.6).

Florida's rate was 19.5 percent as of January, below the U.S. median rate of 23.9 percent. More of Florida's children were vaccinated (32.3 percent) than adults (16.1).

Federal health officials said low rates might explain a recent increase in H1N1 cases in the Southeast, particularly in Georgia, which has seen about 40 H1N1-related hospitalizations a week since February.

Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina are now reporting regional H1N1 activity, while most states — including Florida — have only sporadic cases.

But officials say the Georgia situation is a reminder that the H1N1 virus hasn't gone away, and they renewed their call for vaccinations. U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin said there is now enough vaccine available for anyone who wants it.

Health officials also released rates for health care workers, one of the target groups encouraged to receive the vaccine. From August to January, 62 percent of health care workers nationally received the seasonal flu vaccine, while 37 percent received the H1N1 vaccine.

The 62 percent rate was the highest in years for the seasonal flu vaccine, which the CDC attributed to stepped-up efforts by providers. At Tampa General Hospital, for example, calls for employees to join the "VacciNation" resulted in rates of 65 percent for seasonal flu and 53 percent for H1N1.

"It was quite an effort," said JoAnn Shea, director of employee health and wellness at Tampa General, which has about 6,100 employees.

Richard Martin can be reached at rmartin@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8330.

Few Floridians got swine flu shots 04/07/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 7, 2010 4:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Future, Ruff Ryders reunion tour coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa

    Blogs

    Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre is in the midst of a killer summer of rock (Green Day, Muse, Linkin Park) and country (Sam Hunt, Lady Antebelleum, Dierks Bentley).

    Future
  2. Rubio remains noncommital on Obamacare replacement but a likely yes vote

    Blogs

    Sen. Marco Rubio has been bombarded with phone calls, emails and on Monday, protests took place outside his offices in Doral and Palm Beach Gardens. But while the effort is most unlikely to dissuade the Florida Republican from voting for the Obamacare replacement -- if it even comes up for a vote this week -- he remains …

  3. James Wilder Jr. back at running back...in Canada

    Blogs

    Remember when former Plant High star and Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. announced he was switching to linebacker?

    That was short-lived, apparently.

  4. Unlicensed contractor accused of faking death triggers policy change at Pinellas construction licensing board

    Local Government

    The unlicensed contractor accused of faking his death to avoid angry homeowners has triggered an immediate change in policy at the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board.

    Last year Glenn and Judith Holland said they paid a contractor thousands of dollars to renovate their future retirement home in Seminole. But when they tried to move in on Dec. 14, they said the home was in shambles and uninhabitable. They sent a text message to contractor Marc Anthony Perez at 12:36 p.m. looking for answers. Fourteen minutes later, they got back this text: "This is Marc's daughter, dad passed away on the 7th of December in a car accident. Sorry." Turns out Perez was still alive. Now the Hollands are suing him in Pinellas-Pasco circuit court. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  5. What you need to know for Tuesday, June 27

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Former St. Petersburg mayor and current mayoral candidate Rick Baker, left, and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman square off tonight in a debate. [Times]