URI professor pulls flu-shot extra credit assignment after university officials say it violates HIPAA

This is a file of a University of Rhode Island sign. (WLNE)

KINGSTON, R.I. (WLNE) — A University of Rhode Island professor has ended an extra credit assignment after school officials said it violates HIPAA laws.

In a communication to her students obtained by ABC 6 News, the professor informed students the assignment to get extra credit by receiving the flu shot will no longer be offered.

“A science-denier in one of my classes this semester complained that the flu-shot assignment is politically biased and may be an invasion of privacy,” wrote the professor in her communication.

“URI did some research and found it violates HIPAA privacy regulations because faculty should not know the status of student vaccinations. Thus ends 23 years of easy extra credit for my students,” continued the professor.

The professor said an alternative research extra credit assignment will be offered in its place.

The assignment was brought light by some students who raised concerns about the extra credit assignment.

One student told ABC 6 that they felt they were forced to choose between their grades or their beliefs.

An URI spokesman confirmed to ABC 6 the assignment as been discontinued.

Categories: News