On the vaccination front: FL lags behind most states in getting shots in the arm

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Two weeks after Florida opened the door to allow vaccines for residents 16 and older, CDC data show that the state has a ways to go in boosting the number of residents vaccinated.

Florida has vaccinated 5.2 million residents, a number that looks high but percentage wise, is relatively low, with 24.3 percent of residents vaccinated in the state, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That percentage ranks Florida 36th of the 50 states and Washington, D.C. — the bottom third of states.

States in the bottom third include Louisiana, South Carolina, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia. Georgia has the smallest percentage of residents vaccinated, at 19.1 percent.

When Florida stacks up against the 10 states with the largest number of vaccinated residents, Florida ranks 9 out 10, with New Jersey and New York with the highest percentage of residents vaccinated.

Florida lags behind many states in part because the vaccination program in Florida started out for the most part with seniors 65 and older.

In that category of seniors, the CDC data show that Florida ranks 4th of the 10 largest vaccine states, with 65.7 percent of seniors vaccinated.

But of all states, Florida ranks 25th of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., for seniors getting vaccinates.

Diane Rado
Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.