OHIO — It's been 10 days since the Ohio General Assembly passed a bill that holds a provision banning public schools and colleges from requiring students and employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
It sits on Gov. Mike DeWine's desk, who has a time limit of 10 days to either sign or veto it. The governor was expected to indicate a signature or veto within that time period, otherwise the bill will automatically become law.
A spokesperson for the governor said DeWine would not be issuing a statement on HB 244 Saturday.
If House Bill 244 goes into effect, schools wouldn't be able to require vaccines that haven't received full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Since all three COVID-19 vaccines haven't received that approval and have only been given emergency use authorization, that would mean schools couldn't require employees and students to get the vaccine.
The bill would also wipe out any existing mandate schools have already put in place. So far, four Ohio colleges said they plan to implement a vaccine mandate: Ohio Wesleyan University and Kenyon College are requiring vaccination for all students, and students living on campus at Mt. St. Joseph University and Cleveland State University must show proof of vaccination.
At a press conference July 2, DeWine said he was talking with universities on whether they plan to mandate the vaccine.
“This issue was brought up in a conversation between the governors and the FDA officials with no real answer. So we’re still looking at this," DeWine said.
When the bill was in the Ohio House in early June, DeWine didn't outright say whether he was for or against the bill.
“I think it’s important for us to remember what great strides have been made, how our lives have been changed by vaccines. Probably millions of people’s lives around the world have been changed for the better," DeWine said.
So far, most K-12 school districts don't have a policy on the COVID-19 vaccine.