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Survey: Rhode Islanders still strongly support a COVID-19 vaccine mandate

A droplet falls from a syringe after a person was injected with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a hospital in Providence, R.I.David Goldman/Associated Press

Rhode Island ranks No. 6 in the country for residents supporting a universal COVID-19 vaccine mandate, according to a new survey.

The poll from the COVID-19 Consortium for Understanding the Public’s Policy Preferences Across States found that 64 percent of residents said they believe everyone should be required to get the vaccine, behind only Washington, D.C. (75.6 percent), Massachusetts (67.3 percent), Hawaii (66.7 percent), Maryland (65.2 percent) and California (65 percent).

Nationally, 55.3 percent of Americans support a vaccine mandate, according to the survey.

Rhode Island’s support for a vaccine requirement has been consistent in eight surveys by the consortium since December 2020, never dipping below 60 percent. Support peaked in June 2021 when 73.8 percent of residents said they were in favor of that kind of mandate.


There are only three states where fewer than 40 percent of residents support a vaccine requirement: Wyoming (29.9 percent), Idaho (38.3 percent), and Alabama (38.5 percent).

The consortium includes researchers from Harvard, Northeastern, Rutgers, and Northwestern, and has conducted 17 50-state surveys during the pandemic (eight have included questions about a vaccine mandate).

The most recent survey was conducted between March 2 and April 4, and the margin of error in Rhode Island was plus or minus six percentage points.

This story first appeared in Rhode Map, our free newsletter about Rhode Island that also contains information about local events, data about the coronavirus in the state, and more. If you’d like to receive it via e-mail Monday through Friday, you can sign up here.

Dan McGowan can be reached at Follow him @danmcgowan.