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Florida gets 6 out of 10 in health emergency preparedness report card

Florida scored a six out of 10 in its ability to fund and prepare for public health emergencies in a national report released Tuesday.

Among the reasons why the state was given a poor grade was because it does not have a paid sick leave law and because it had a 43 percent flu vaccination rate this past flu season — the 12th lowest rate in the country.

The Trust for America’s Health report found that the country does not invest enough to maintain basic health security readiness when a disaster strikes.

“If we don’t improve our baseline funding and capabilities, we’ll continue to be caught completely off-guard when hurricanes, wildfires and infectious disease outbreaks hit,” said John Auerbach, the organization’s president and CEO.

The annual report released by the nonprofit looks at 10 indicators based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention related to how states prepare ahead of a potential public health crisis.

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Ana covers politics and policy Before joining the News Service of Florida she wrote for the Naples Daily News and was the legislative relief reporter for The Associated Press and covered policy issues impacting immigration, the environment, criminal justice and social welfare in Florida. She holds a B.A. in journalism from San Diego State University. After graduating in 2014, she worked as a criminal justice reporter for the Monterey Herald and the Monterey County Weekly. She has also freelanced for The Washington Post at the U.S.-Mexico border covering crime in the border city of Tijuana, where she grew up. Ana is fluent in Spanish and has intermediate proficiency in Portuguese.

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