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Poll: R.I. still backs COVID-19 vaccine requirement, but support is dipping

A droplet fell from a syringe after a health care worker was injected with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Women & Infants Hospital in Providence, R.I.David Goldman/Associated Press

The majority of Rhode Islanders still thinks everyone should be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but support for such a mandate has fallen below 60 percent for the first time.

A new survey from the COVID-19 Consortium for Understanding the Public’s Policy Preferences Across States found that 58.8 percent of Rhode Island residents believe there should be a universal requirement to get the vaccine.

That’s down from a high in June 2021, when 73.8 percent of Rhode Islanders supported a vaccine mandate. In March, 63.8 percent said they support such a requirement.

Rhode Island still checks in just above the national average of 56.2 percent, according to the poll. In Massachusetts, 67.5 percent of residents said they support a vaccine requirement.


The consortium includes researchers from Harvard, Northeastern, Rutgers, and Northwestern, and has conducted 18 50-state surveys during the pandemic (nine have included questions about a vaccine mandate).

The most recent survey was conducted between June 8 and July 6, and the margin of error in Rhode Island was plus or minus 6 percentage points.

Aside from a universal mandate, 63.9 percent of Rhode Islanders think vaccines should be required to get on an airplane, and 55.6 percent think children should have the vaccine to be allowed in school.

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 dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan.