The Florida Department of Health provides an interactive map that allows you to see how prevalent religious exemptions from vaccinations are where you live.
As the legend indicates, the darker the color, the more kids with religious exemptions in a particular cluster.
In Pinellas County, a chunk of Clearwater is shaded in the darkest color.
The map allows you to zoom in and click on the area which then gives you specific data. For example, in that designated area, 33 percent of children have religious exemptions.
In Pasco County, the map shows lower numbers, with the highest spot at less than 10 percent. Polk County is even lower with the entire region falling between 0-6 percent.
In Hillsborough, the map shows a hot spot in downtown Tampa, where 31 percent of kids age 4 to 18 have a religious exemption.
The map also shows which schools are located in these hot spots. However, just because a school is in a religious exemption hot spot doesn't mean the school is vulnerable because kids don't always attend the school in their neighborhood.
Keep in mind that just because a child has a religious exemption doesn't mean they're unvaccinated, but it does mean they have the option to skip the shot if they wish.
10News discovered the number of religious exemptions has gone up significantly in the last decade.
Here in Florida, children have to be vaccinated to attend school but there are two exceptions. Your child needs a medical or religious exemption to opt out.
Medical exemptions require a doctor's signature but religious exemptions are issued from county health departments. There's no proof required and you can complete the process in one in-person visit.
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