Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed legislation into law on July 14 preventing public schools and universities from requiring people to receive a COVID-19 vaccine that hasn’t been fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus vaccines manufactured by Modera, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson are being administered under the FDA’s emergency use authorization. The vaccines haven’t been fully approved by the agency, although some federal officials have suggested in recent weeks that they will be by the end of 2021.
The law, House Bill 244, will take effect in 90 days and specifically targets COVID-19 vaccines, prohibiting public schools, universities, and colleges from forcing “an individual to receive a vaccine for which the United States Food and Drug Administration has not granted full approval.” However, by the time the law goes into effect in mid-October, most public school and college students will be back in class.
DeWine, according to local reporters at the scene of the signing, didn’t offer any comments on the law. But on July 13, the Republican governor called on the FDA to move the COVID-19 vaccines from emergency use authorization to full approval.
“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,” DeWine said. “I would just plead with them to do that. It’s very, very important. Lives are, frankly, at stake. If they will do that, it won’t convince everybody, but there are people out there we know who will be convinced if that’s done.”
In order for a drug to receive full FDA approval, more stringent testing and trial studies are required.
The governor argued that the fact that COVID-19 vaccines are still being administered en masse under the FDA’s emergency use authorization is a reason why people are hesitant to receive them.
Democrats in Ohio said they opposed DeWine’s signing of the bill into law.
“I am disappointed by Governor DeWine’s decision to sign House Bill 244 into law. Public schools and universities in Ohio should be able to create policies to keep their students and employees safe,” Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus Leader Kenny Yuko wrote on Twitter.