Researchers say CDC data shows Florida has lowest flu vaccine rate

Reporter: Taylor Smith Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
A flu vaccine is administered to National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) staff members in Bethesda, Md., on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Federica Narancio)

Researchers found CDC data shows Florida has the lowest flu vaccine rate. AdvisorSmith says the three-year average vaccination rate in the state for the virus is roughly 40%. We asked doctor’s if they are still seeing an uptick in flu cases, and we learned mask wearing and social distancing for COVID-19 is helping keep flu numbers low.

MORE: States With the Highest and Lowest Flu Vaccination Rates

“We get it every year, and I never have any problems with the flu shot,” Oti Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez says she and her husband never miss a flu shot.

While some say it’s important, the average of vaccinations for the state of Florida does not show a majority of people are getting it.

“I choose not to,” Marjorie Abraham said. “I got the flu shot once, and I got very sick.”

Some are worried about the research findings for flu vaccines in Florida.

“It’s a big surprise,” Gonzalez said. “I don’t understand why because it is very important. A lot of people die every year because of the flu.”

A spokesperson from NCH Health System told us they are seeing fewer people visit with the flu.

In October and November last year, NCH had more than 500 cases of the flu. During this year’s October and November combined, NCH has seen zero flu cases.

NCH says masks and social distancing for the pandemic could be responsible for this, but others say there are other reasons.

“We’re healthy down here, ya know?” Abraham said. “What can I say? We have high immune systems.”

A local doctor told us the low numbers for getting the flu vaccine are worrisome because they don’t know how people will react to wanting to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

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