Bill allowing schools to not require COVID-19 vaccine passes Ohio General Assembly

Ohio News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – While passing the $78 billion budget Monday night, lawmakers also passed other bills before leaving for summer break.

One of them, House Bill 244, is being called by some a danger to public health.

The bill originally dealt with military families and children, but was amended to include a ban on universities and colleges requiring the COVID-19 vaccine.

“The simple fact is that decision needs to be decided by their parents and by their family,” said Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima).

Right now in Ohio, a little more than 44 percent of the population has completed their coronavirus vaccination. Dr. Anita Somani said a higher number is needed.

“Herd immunity comes because the majority of people get vaccinated, not because a few get vaccinated,” Somani, a Columbus Ob-Gyn, said.

Huffman argued that young adults aren’t impacted by the virus as severely as others, but Somani said college-age students are still at risk.

“When you think about college-age students, people who are on campus, people in close quarters, you’re really living together with essentially a bunch of strangers, so you want to protect those kids,” she said.

When asked about House Bill 244 at a separate bill signing, Governor Mike DeWine declined to comment on if he would veto or sign the bill.

“This is a happy day today, so we’re not going to talk about unhappy things or anything else,” DeWine said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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