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Public K-12 Schools and Colleges Can Require COVID Vaccines at Start of School Year Despite New Law

Gov. DeWine speaks to reporters
Jo Ingles
Statehouse News Bureau
Gov. Mike DeWine speaks to reporters at John Glenn International Airport in Columbus Friday. The governor says K-12 schools and higher education institutions can require students and staff to be vaccinated for COVID-19 until the law that bans requiring the vaccinations goes into effect.

Even though Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill earlier this week saying public K-12 schools and colleges cannot mandate students or staff to get COVID vaccines, that doesn’t mean some can’t require that next month at the beginning of this upcoming school year. 

DeWine says if some public colleges and schools want to require COVID vaccines at the start of the school year, he says they “have every right to do that.” The new law won’t go into effect for 90 days. And DeWine is hoping by then the FDA will give COVID vaccines, now used on an emergency basis, full approval. 

“We hope it will be in the fall. Frankly the sooner the better. Frankly, this is a vaccine that has been utilized by hundreds of millions of people, and there’s a lot of experience with its use,” DeWine said.

When approval comes, the law will no longer apply to COVID vaccines. DeWine says his administration will be giving schools guidance on preventing the spread of COVID this year, noting children under 12 cannot be vaccinated now. 
Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.