Posted Date: January 28, 2014
Quick Fact: A parent, guardian or pupil (if over 18 years of age) completes and signs the “Religious Immunization Exemption Certificate” attesting that immunization is contrary to their religious beliefs. Medical exemptions are also allowed.
Other Resources: Many vaccination and exemption information links are date specific. If the links below have expired, click on the state's department of health, or immunization program link provided below, as they are likely to provide links to updated information. The General Information link leads to the overview page provided by the state at the time of this webpage's update and may also be helpful. Please email NVIC with broken link information.
K-12 School Information
Vaccination Requirements for Healthcare Workers, Patients, Inmates & Developmentally Disabled
State of Rhode Island Legislature – see applicable statutes and their hyperlinks below. Visit NVIC’s Advocacy Portal for information on legislation introduced impacting vaccine exemption rights.
State of Rhode Island Department of Health
State of Rhode Island Immunization Program
The information contained on NVIC's web pages is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be medical or legal advice. Those seeking medical or legal advice should obtain the services of a competent attorney, physician or qualified health care professional. Although NVIC continually updates our website, state laws and rules change frequently and consumers are ultimately responsible for verifying their state's vaccination and exemption laws and requirements.
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TITLE 16. EDUCATION
CHAPTER 38. OFFENSES PERTAINING TO SCHOOLS
R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-38-2
§ 16-38-2. Immunization
(a) Every person upon entering any public or private school including any college or university in this state as a pupil shall furnish to the administrative head of the school evidence that the person has been immunized against any diseases that may from time to time be prescribed by regulation of the director of health and tested for tuberculosis, or a certificate from a licensed physician stating that the person is not a fit subject for immunization for medical reasons, or a certificate signed by the pupil, if over eighteen (18) years of age, or by the parent or guardian stating that immunization and/or testing for communicable diseases is contrary to that person's religious beliefs. It shall be the responsibility of the administrative head of the school to secure compliance with these regulations.
(b) Every child more than twenty-four (24) months of age, resident in the state of Rhode Island, shall be eligible to receive the immunization against meningococcal disease. The Department of Health shall include meningococcal vaccine in the department's immunization program, established by § 23-1-44.
TITLE 42. STATE AFFAIRS AND GOVERNMENT
CHAPTER 42-72.1. LICENSING AND MONITORING OF CHILD CARE PROVIDERS AND CHILD-PLACING AGENCIES
R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-72.1-3
§ 42-72.1-3 Powers and scope of activities.
(a) The department shall issue, deny, and revoke licenses for, and monitor the operation of, facilities and programs by child placing agencies and child care providers, as defined in § 42-72.1-2.
(b) The department shall adopt, amend, and rescind regulations in accordance with this chapter and implement its provisions. The regulations shall be promulgated and become effective in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act, chapter 35 of title 42.
(c) The department through its licensing unit shall administer and manage the regulations pertaining to the licensing and monitoring of those agencies, and shall exercise all statutory and administrative powers necessary to carry out its functions.
(d) The administrator shall investigate complaints of noncompliance, and shall take licensing action as required.
(e) Regulations formulated pursuant to the foregoing authority shall include, but need not be limited to, the following:
. . . (10) Immunization and testing requirements for communicable diseases, including, but not limited to, tuberculosis, of child care providers and children at any child day-care center or family day-care home as is specified in regulations promulgated by the director of the department of health. Notwithstanding the foregoing, all licensing and monitoring authority shall remain with the department of children, youth, and families.