Alarming Gap In Flu Vaccination Rates For Florida Kids Revealed By CDC Data

Nov 03, 2023 at 08:35 am by Matt

The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals a concerning disparity in flu shot rates among children in Florida. Despite a noticeable uptick in flu activity during the Thanksgiving holiday, pediatric flu shot levels in the state remain disconcertingly low at 22%, well below the recommended threshold of 70%.

Florida's children, aged 6 months to 17 years, are trailing significantly behind the national average, which stands at 56%, according to the CDC. Cindy Prins, an epidemiologist at the University of Central Florida, emphasizes the importance of reaching the optimal vaccination level of 70%. Although the turnout for child vaccinations in Florida is notably lower than the previous flu season (48%), Prins underscores that it is still early in the flu season.

CDC Data Highlights Flu Activity

CDC data highlights that Florida, alongside six other states—Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and South Carolina—is currently witnessing the highest levels of flu activity. Matt Hitchings, an assistant professor at the University of Florida's Department of Biostatistics, suggests that the heightened flu activity aligns with pre-COVID-19 pandemic patterns. The impact of COVID preventive measures, such as quarantining, may have influenced the behavior of respiratory viruses like the flu.

Despite the uncertainties stemming from the ongoing pandemic, the current flu season appears to be reverting to a pre-2020 lifestyle, with respiratory virus seasons adhering to familiar timing patterns. Hitchings recommends obtaining the flu shot around October to bolster immunity before the season peaks, cautioning against delaying vaccinations as it heightens the risk of falling ill before receiving the shot.

Flu Cases On The Rise

With flu cases on the rise in Florida, the imperative to vaccinate becomes evident, particularly for vulnerable populations like infants under 6 months and individuals with underlying health conditions. Emphasizing the importance of flu vaccinations, families are urged to prioritize the well-being of their loved ones not only during the holiday season but also throughout the year.

About Orlando Medical News

Orlando Medical News is the number one news source for medical-related content in Central Florida. Through twenty years of service, we’ve cultivated a strong audience of dedicated healthcare professionals. Orlando Medical News is your source for the best medical news in Central Florida and your trusted advertising platform which reaches far into the medical community of Central Florida healthcare professionals.


Sections: Digital Editions