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Florida is one of the least-vaccinated states, report says

Only Texas and Mississippi rank below the Sunshine State when it comes to vaccination rates.
A new report by WalletHub ranks Florida 50th for its influenza vaccination rate in children, 49th for the number of adults who have been vaccinated for tetanus, and 46th for overall flu vaccination coverage among adults. Overall, it's the third least-vaccinated state in the country. [Times (2019)]
Published Oct. 2

Florida is the third least-vaccinated state in the country, according to an analysis by WalletHub.

The personal finance website released a report Wednesday that ranked states based on school immunization reports, uninsured rates and disease outbreaks. The Sunshine State outperformed only Texas and Mississippi, which ranked 50th and 51st, respectively, in a list that includes the District of Columbia.

Florida ranked low in a number of ways. The state is 50th for its influenza vaccination rate in children, 49th for the number of adults who have been vaccinated for tetanus, and 46th for overall flu vaccination coverage among adults.

RELATED STORY: Measles cases are on the rise, but some Tampa Bay parents won’t vaccinate their kids

Massachusetts led the country with the highest overall vaccination rates, followed by Vermont in second and Rhode Island in third.

Florida has seen a surge in the number of religious exemptions filed by parents to the Florida Department of Health, which waives mandatory immunizations 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 — an increase of about 375 percent over that period.

The state has also had its fair share of infectious disease outbreaks in recent years. Florida declared a state of emergency over the rising number of hepatitis A outbreaks. The Tampa Bay area continues to lead the state in the number of new cases.

Last year, Pinellas County saw its first handful of measles cases in 20 years.

See the full rankings and report from WalletHub here.

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