DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A new Ohio law that was originally set to help military families now prevents Ohio public schools, colleges, and universities from requiring covid-19 vaccines.
“The House and Senate are tickled to do anything and everything we can to protect Wright Patterson Air Force Base and help those families,” said Rep. Brian Lampton, R-Beavercreek.
The bill was originally introduced to help military children and families transition into new schools. The amended bill signed by Governor Mike DeWine on Wednesday has an addition that prevents educators from having a different set of rules for unvaccinated students and staff.
“Some of the schools were talking about ‘we’re going to test the unvaccinated kids once a week,’ and this will prohibit that. You will either test all of them or none of them,” Lampton said.
The bill also prohibits public schools from requiring any vaccine that is not fully approved by the FDA. Lampton said, “a lot of what we heard was that parents are uncomfortable with a non-approved vaccine. Once it gets FDA approved, then that whole thing goes away.”
With two straight days of more than 500 covid cases reported in Ohio, Dr. Jeffrey Weinstein with Kettering Health said the best way to stop the spread is for those who are eligible to get vaccinated. “We’re seeing a lot of data about how effective the vaccine is in those who are able to get it. In fact, in the 12-18 age range, it’s almost 100 percent effective,” he said.
His advice for families returning to in-person instruction next month is to take all necessary precautions.
“Get them vaccinated. If they’re under 12 or above 12 and not vaccinated they should wear a mask. Of course, you can’t wear a mask if you’re eating. So if they’re eating they should try to keep a 3-foot minimum or a 6-foot distance between themselves and someone else,” Dr. Weinstein said.