10% of Florida’s younger children got COVID-19 shots in November
Image via AP.

Florida ranked 38th in the nation for vaccination rates among young kids in November.

In the first month COVID-19 vaccinations were available for grade school-age children, 10% of Florida’s children ages 5-11 received their first shot, according to federal data.

Through Nov. 30, 157,123 Florida elementary school-age children had received their first dose of vaccination, according to the latest U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data released Thursday .

In November, the first month young children could receive the vaccine, Florida’s 10% vaccination rate was 38th highest among states — far below Vermont, where 42% of elementary school-age children got their first shot last month, and Massachusetts, where 33% did.

As has been the pattern throughout the COVID-19 vaccination rollouts, people in Northern states — particularly New England and the western Great Lakes states — have shown far more enthusiasm for the vaccines and eagerness to receive them. Maine, Rhode Island, and Minnesota round out the top five for states with the highest early rates of COVID-19 vaccinations among younger children.

Meanwhile, people in Southern and inland Western states generally have shown much more reluctance. Only 4% of the young children in West Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana received vaccinations in November. Other states with lower rates than Florida include South Carolina, Indiana, Oklahoma, Nevada, Tennessee, Georgia, and Wyoming. No data was reported for Idaho.

COVID-19 shots became available for the 5-11 cohort on Nov. 3, after being approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Oct. 29.

Florida’s rate of vaccinations for adolescents ages 12-17 is a little better compared to other states. In Florida, 865,047 children in that age group had received at least one shot, 60% of the age group, according to the CDC data. Florida has the 23rd highest rate in the country of adolescents who have received at least one shot. Massachusetts had the nation’s highest rate at 83%; West Virginia the lowest, at 36%.

In Florida, 49% of adolescents were fully vaccinated (not including booster shots) by the end of November, according to the CDC. In Vermont, 73% of adolescents were fully vaccinated; in West Virginia, just 25%.

At the other end of the age spectrum, 88% of Floridians ages 65 or older were fully vaccinated, the 22nd best rate in the country, according to the latest CDC data. In Vermont, 99% of seniors were fully vaccinated; in West Virginia, just 72%.

Overall, 13.2 million Floridians are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. That means 62% of Florida’s population is fully vaccinated, not including booster shots, the 19th highest rate in the country. In Vermont, 73% of the population is fully vaccinated; in West Virginia, only 42%.

Floridians are not scurrying to get boosters, however, according to the CDC data. Through Dec. 1, 2.7 million Floridians have received booster shots, about 20% of the fully vaccinated population. That’s the 35th highest rate in the country. As usual, Vermont tops the nation’s list, with 35% of eligible residents having received boosters. Out of step with the usual patterns, New Hampshire has the nation’s worst booster shot rate, at just 6%.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].

One comment

  • Dr. Bob

    December 11, 2021 at 7:47 am

    Just sad….even children engaged in the fool’s quest for natural immunity. The world’s leader in this fantasy, the Trump-following” president of Brazil, is already facing associated criminal charges, and being considered for a “crimes against humanity” charge. Using CDC figures. 10,000 extra Floridians dies in Florida as “science and reality” prescriptions were abandoned in the false quest for Freedom First quest fo natural immunity. If “Trump’s Pit Bull Ron” had simply done an average job (using population adjusted CDC USA States’ data) 10,000 more Floridian’s would be alive today. Here come the children.

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