JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Flu, COVID-19 and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) are all threats to people and hospitals this fall.
A new study revealed that Florida is also now marked as one of the states with the lowest vaccination rates for any disease.
News4JAX spoke to community members who said they are planning on getting a flu shot, but the COVID booster — they’re still unsure about right now.
“We don’t want to get really sick and go to a hospital,” Lorraine Brungert, a Jacksonville resident, told News4JAX.
One Jacksonville resident said she never gets the flu vaccine.
“I don’t get sick that often so I don’t think it’s a need for me,” Michelle Robinson said.
As for the COVID booster — people are hesitant.
“I’m very unsure about this one — we’ve got all the others — but I’m not sure about this one,” Brungert said.
According to a study from WalletHub — Florida ranks 49 on a list of states that are least likely to get vaccinated. Alongside Florida are Georgia, Oklahoma and Mississippi.
According to Mayo Clinic’s COVID-19 tracker, Duval County is seeing an average of 58 cases a day. Health officials said pediatric beds in intensive care units are now about 80 percent full — all because of RSV cases.
Wolfsen Children’s Hospital didn’t have an exact number but said they’re seeing a higher number of RSV cases than this time in years past. Baptist Health said: “We have four inpatients with flu and 55 inpatients with COVID-19 throughout our entire system (all five hospitals). For the flu, this is the beginning of flu season and is typical for this time of year. For COVID-19, these numbers are also steady and do not indicate a significant change.”
A local pediatrician said she’s seeing RSV cases daily with children under two years old. She said she’s seeing about three to five flu cases in children a week. The pediatrician only sees about one to two cases of COVID a week.
According to doctors, flu activity tends to increase in October and peaks between December and February.
Doctors recommend getting vaccinated as soon as possible.