COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio House Health Committee had a hearing Tuesday on a bill Republicans are trying to pass banning mandatory vaccinations of all types. The meeting drew strong reaction from both sides of the issue.

The committee listened to more than four hours of testimony for and against House Bill 248, which is also called the Vaccine Choice and Anti-Discrimination Act.

On one side, people who said they support "medical freedom,” and on the other, mainstream medical and business professionals opposing the bill.

Chair Scott Lipps, R-Franklin, made it clear Tuesday's hearing was about information and not resolution.

"I’m sure that we will be chastised by both sides, but that’s our job," said Lipps.

Dozens of people testified on the bill that would ban employers from requiring any vaccine, not just one for COVID-19. No one got the attention of the committee more than Dr. Michael Brady, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

"Stories of adverse reactions to vaccines are heartbreaking, but they're exceedingly rare,” said Brady. “The deaths and permanent harm caused by vaccine preventable diseases are equally heartbreaking but much, much more common.”

As Brady was addressing the committee, the bill's sponsor, Republican Rep. Jennifer Gross, R-West Chester, was not in the room. Instead, Gross was being prayed over by the bill's supporters downstairs in the atrium. That is also where more HB 248 supporters were screaming as they heard opposing testimony on a television.

Outside more supporters demonstrated on 3rd Street. They said they do not want the government telling them what to do when it comes to COVID-19 and the vaccine.

"I am not anti- or pro-vaccine. I am pro-choice,” said Amy Kissinger. “Everyone has to make those decisions for them self. The fact there is such tremendous pressure being brought to bear on this one particular issue I think raises a lot of suspicion.”

Dr. Brady said not only should there not be suspicion in the vaccine, but the argument of personal freedom only works if there is public responsibility to not cause harm to others.

"When Thomas Jefferson was asked about personal freedoms, he answered with the following, 'a person's ability to swing their fist ends just short of another person's chin,’" Brady said. 

As state health officials continue to warn people about the spread of the delta variant, they also said this bill would be dangerous. Gov. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, has also come out against the bill.

House Speaker Robert Cupp, R-Lima, said Tuesday's hearing will be the last on House Bill 248 and there is no word on when a vote could take place.