JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – As Americans get their flu shots and additional COVID boosters, Mississippians are among the least likely to get them nationwide. 

This finding stems from a WalletHub survey, which finds that Mississippi ranks last overall among states and the District of Columbia for vaccinations. The state is at or near the bottom for vaccination rates among children and teenagers nationally.

Mississippi’s vaccination rate among those six months to 17 years old is the second lowest. Additionally, Mississippi has the lowest share of teenagers aged 13-17 who are up to date on their HPV and ACWY vaccinations. 

These numbers may further decline among the state’s youth, as a federal judge ruled in April that religious exemptions must be allowed for children’s vaccinations required to attend school. 

This pattern is also visible among older Mississippians, as the rate of flu vaccinations among adults is the lowest nationally in Mississippi. The state also has the second-lowest rate of tetanus vaccinations among adults. 

Among states with the highest overall rate of vaccination, none are in the South. Among states with the lowest rate, six states within the region are — West Virginia, Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Mississippi.

According to the World Health Organization, at least four million lives are saved yearly thanks to the administration of vaccines. The WHOCDC and other health organizations stand behind their safety and overall benefit. The rate of serious complications from vaccines is very rare.