School, college mandates banned for ‘emergency use’ vaccines in Ohio

The bill, to take effect in 90 days, would also prohibit individuals who don’t receive emergency use vaccines from being denied the chance to participate in school activities such as sports.

Posted: Jul 15, 2021 4:18 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Public schools and colleges in Ohio would be prohibited from requiring individuals to receive vaccines not granted full approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, under a bill targeting coronavirus vaccinations signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Mike DeWine.

The bill, to take effect in 90 days, would also prohibit individuals who don’t receive emergency use vaccines from being denied the chance to participate in school activities such as sports.

The Republican governor signed the bill without comment, although a day earlier he said the FDA needs to move coronavirus vaccines from emergency use authorization to full approval as soon as possible.

He said the emergency element is leading to vaccine hesitancy in the state.

“It is past time for the FDA to take into account that hundreds of millions of people have received these vaccines, and move it from an emergency basis over to a regular basis,” the governor said Tuesday. “That will help us, in Ohio and across the country, to get more people vaccinated.”

The measure was a last-minute GOP addition to a bill aimed at minimizing disruptions for children of military families moving into or out of districts as a result of their parents’ deployments.

“Parents in consultation with personal doctors have the right to make decisions about their children, especially for vaccinations that are not fully approved by the FDA,” Sen. Andrew Brenner, a Delaware Republican, said during Senate debate on the “emergency use” prohibition on June 28.

Democrats say the measure was a political ploy for votes and not based in science.

“Public schools and universities in Ohio should be able to create policies to keep their students and employees safe,” Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko, a Cleveland Democrat, said Wednesday after the governor signed the bill.

Democrats also criticized a second last-minute GOP addition to the legislation requiring the state Department of Health to provide transportation, lodging, food and medical testing to individuals ordered to quarantine because of a contagious disease outbreak.

Earlier this month, DeWine vetoed a Republican-backed portion of the state budget that would have stopped disciplinary actions against companies cited for violating public health orders during the coronavirus pandemic and refund payment of any fines.

The governor said it would send a “horrible message” to the majority of companies who followed state mandates to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

House Republicans are also pushing another bill that would prohibit employers, either public or private, from requiring employees to receive vaccinations.

The measure before the GOP-controlled House Health Committee has attracted multiple opponents of COVID-19 vaccines but does not mention the coronavirus. Instead, it addresses mandatory requirements for all vaccines, such as for the flu.

Lawmakers adjourned for the summer without moving the bill out of committee. It’s opposed by every major business group in Ohio along with multiple medical, hospital and health care groups.

DeWine signed the legislation Wednesday just hours after his top medical advisor warned that vaccination trends have led to the development of “two Ohios” when it comes to combating the coronavirus, increasing vulnerability to the disease’s highly contagious delta variant.

The delta variant is rapidly becoming the disease’s dominant strain and is a real threat to those who are unvaccinated, Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, chief medical officer for the Ohio Department of Health, said in a morning briefing.

The delta variant was first identified in India and is now spreading in more than 90 other countries. Meanwhile, about 5.3 million people in Ohio, or 45% of the population, have completed the vaccination process.

“The reality is, we now have two Ohios,” Vanderhoff said. “An Ohio that is vaccinated and protected on the one hand, and an Ohio that is unvaccinated and vulnerable to delta on the other.”

About nine of every 10 people hospitalized for COVID-19 in central Ohio since April have been partially vaccinated or not vaccinated at all, added Dr. Andrew Thomas, chief clinical officer at the Ohio State University medical center.

Wednesday’s bill signing, along with the doctors’ warnings, also came a day after DeWine said Ohio will soon announce a second coronavirus vaccine incentive program following the Vax-a-Million initiative that offered five $1 million prizes and five full-ride college scholarships.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 926604

Reported Deaths: 15083
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1262201958
Lake626901087
Allen52772747
Hamilton43283445
St. Joseph41475584
Elkhart33129488
Vanderburgh29927439
Tippecanoe26589247
Johnson23267415
Hendricks21902340
Porter21473341
Clark17150224
Madison17065379
Vigo15815273
Monroe14298190
LaPorte14108237
Delaware13771219
Howard13635262
Kosciusko11232134
Hancock10637160
Warrick10523176
Bartholomew10341167
Floyd10200202
Wayne9690218
Grant8939196
Morgan8734158
Boone8299109
Dubois7596123
Henry7469128
Dearborn745187
Noble7294101
Marshall7237128
Cass7097117
Lawrence6862150
Shelby6457107
Jackson643981
Gibson6036106
Harrison595585
Huntington591891
Montgomery5706102
DeKalb563591
Knox537599
Miami531983
Clinton527164
Putnam525367
Whitley516251
Steuben486367
Wabash477492
Jasper471961
Jefferson461991
Ripley444175
Adams439365
Daviess4064106
Scott394963
White386257
Clay382356
Greene380189
Wells379683
Decatur379595
Fayette367176
Posey354941
Jennings346356
Washington325847
LaGrange315774
Spencer313034
Fountain309753
Randolph305487
Sullivan299447
Owen279161
Starke272761
Orange272659
Fulton268851
Jay250634
Perry247451
Carroll241127
Franklin233637
Vermillion229750
Rush228930
Parke215220
Tipton206754
Pike202538
Blackford165634
Pulaski158751
Crawford142818
Newton140742
Benton139816
Brown132646
Martin126916
Switzerland123510
Warren113416
Union93511
Ohio77211
Unassigned0468

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1342777

Reported Deaths: 21471
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1502191556
Cuyahoga1327732318
Hamilton962791318
Montgomery659161136
Summit555141045
Lucas50248862
Butler46732653
Stark40741974
Lorain31004529
Warren29609328
Mahoning26462637
Clermont25206287
Lake24339416
Delaware22014143
Licking20180241
Fairfield20139221
Greene19955268
Trumbull19500508
Medina19478286
Clark17565325
Richland15949231
Portage15851228
Wood15438208
Allen13875256
Miami13549249
Muskingum12261149
Wayne11647237
Columbiana11344239
Tuscarawas10657265
Marion10509148
Pickaway10301128
Scioto10082126
Erie9618171
Ross9209174
Lawrence8516116
Hancock8298141
Ashtabula8180185
Geauga8066155
Belmont7966184
Jefferson7324168
Huron7253127
Union717849
Washington7037119
Athens681064
Sandusky6734133
Darke6559136
Knox6475121
Seneca6237137
Ashland5808112
Auglaize580488
Shelby5654101
Mercer552190
Brown551068
Defiance5361100
Madison535170
Crawford5299114
Highland527581
Fulton520082
Clinton515980
Logan503182
Preble4902110
Putnam4778106
Guernsey454661
Williams448281
Champaign436264
Perry432152
Ottawa431184
Jackson413260
Pike378941
Morrow369150
Fayette367652
Coshocton359466
Hardin350069
Adams348069
Gallia338054
Holmes3197108
Henry318868
Van Wert307170
Hocking291669
Wyandot276158
Carroll256752
Paulding236442
Meigs205242
Monroe185049
Noble164840
Morgan159228
Harrison151940
Vinton133918
Unassigned05
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