COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has signed a bill into law that prohibits public schools and colleges from requiring vaccines that are available under emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. All three COVID-19 vaccines currently fall into this category.
It also forbids schools and colleges from requiring unvaccinated people to adhere to different protocols such as masks or social distancing than vaccinated people.
The bill also prohibits discrimination against people who have not had a COVID-19 vaccination and prohibits individuals who don't receive the vaccine from being denied the chance to participate in school activities.
On Tuesday, the governor said it's important for the FDA to switch coronavirus vaccines from emergency use authorization to full approval as soon as possible. DeWine says the vaccine's emergency use status is contributing to vaccine hesitancy in Ohio.
According to DeWine's spokesperson, Dan Tierney, "The primary purpose of the bill was to enhance educational opportunities for children in military families–a worthy goal. The amendment was limited to vaccines that do not have full FDA approval. 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."
Sen. Andrew Brenner, R-Powell, introduced the amendment last month. During his floor speech, Brenner emphasized that most fatalities from COVID-19 occurred among the elderly. He also cited a study claiming there’s “no clear benefit” to vaccination when measured against the COVID-19 death rate. He said the decision is between students, their parents, and their physician.
“This is about personal rights, and it’s also about making sure our students are protected,” he said.
The study, published by a Switzerland-based medical journal that advertises its lighting-fast 13.6 day peer review process, claims that two people die for every three who are saved by vaccination. This is a far cry from scientific consensus around vaccine safety and the journal walked back its findings, warning they are “incorrect and distorted.”
Study after study from the CDC and other public health agencies have documented a plummeting COVID-19 death rate among populations with robust vaccination coverage. The Associated Press has reported that nearly all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. are now occurring among unvaccinated people.
CLICK HERE to read the full bill.
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