Florida sees lowest student vaccination rates in a decade

Published April 22, 2016

Vaccination rates in Florida schools are at their lowest levels in a decade, the Florida Department of Health reports.

Just under 93 percent of kindergarten students and 90.6 percent of seventh graders had all of their required immunizations this year, the department said.

Florida law requires students entering public and private schools to get a series of vaccinations and provide their immunization records to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. The law offers exemptions, but the goal is to have at least 95 percent of students vaccinated.

The health department recommends that schools should not allow students from other states or countries to attend until they provide a valid Florida-issued immunization record.

"Instead, refer those students to a local (county health department) for immunization services, and exclude them from school until compliance is met," the department states. "Students transferring from another county in Florida may be given 30 days to provide proper immunization documentation."

Last year, when a measles scare had schools worried, some districts said they would ban students without shot records if a case arose in their classrooms.