An Ohio law banning schools from forcing students to take vaccinations that haven’t been fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took effect Wednesday.
HB 244 says that primary and secondary schools, along with public universities, may not “Discriminate against an individual who has not received a [non-fully approved vaccine], including by requiring the individual to engage in or refrain from engaging in activities or precautions that differ from the activities or precautions of an individual who has received such a vaccine.”
The bill was signed into law in July as a reaction to the national push for mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for students.
Despite signing the bill into law, a spokesperson for Gov. Mike DeWine said the bill was unnecessary.
“We are confident that these vaccines, proven repeatedly to be very safe and very effective, will be approved by the FDA, thus rendering this issue moot,” the spokesperson said.
Currently, the only COVID-19 vaccine that has received full approval from the FDA is the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines remain available under the federal government’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).
In other states, bans on discrimination reach further than just public schools.
Florida recently fined Leon County $3.5 million for forcing 714 county employees to take the COVID-19 vaccine, or $5,000 per person who was forced to comply. Of the 714 employees in the county, 700 took the vaccine. The other 14 were reportedly fired several days after the October 1 deadline imposed by the county.
“The state is also investigating other government entities, schools and businesses, including a Harry Styles concert, for violating its ban on asking people to provide proof of vaccination,” as reported by The Guardian.
Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) of Texas also made waves when he banned companies based in the Lone Star state from requiring COVID-19 vaccines for their employees. Several companies have already said they will ignore Abbott’s order.
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