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Ohio law blocking public schools from requiring vaccines takes effect

A bill prohibiting Ohio’s public schools from requiring students and employees to get any...
A bill prohibiting Ohio’s public schools from requiring students and employees to get any vaccine that has not received full approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration takes effect Wednesday.(FOX19 NOW)
Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 7:13 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 13, 2021 at 7:33 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A new Ohio law prohibiting public schools from requiring students and employees to get any vaccine that is not fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is now in effect.

House Bill 244 also restricts school districts from treating their students any differently based on their COVID-19 vaccination status.

Gov. Mike DeWine signed the bill in June a couple of weeks after it was passed by Ohio lawmakers.

Schools covered by the bill include all city, local, community and exempted village public schools as well as all joint vocational school districts, college-prep boarding schools and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) schools.

It also covers state institutions of higher education, meaning colleges and universities.

When the bill was first introduced in March, it only addressed the education of children in military families. It was changed by the end of the legislative session to include provisions tied to the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Pfizer vaccine is the only COVID-19 vaccine with full approval from the FDA right now, for those 16 and older.

It’s still under emergency use authorization for children between the ages of 12-to 15-years-old.

The FDA plans to meet later this month to discuss the emergency use authorization of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in children between the ages of 5-to 11-years-old.

The FDA recently approved Pfizer booster doses for certain populations including people:

  • 65 years of age and older;
  • 18 through 64 years of age at high risk of severe COVID-19; and
  • 18 through 64 years of age whose frequent institutional or occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2 puts them at high risk of serious complications of COVID-19 including severe COVID-19

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