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DeWine Hints He Won't Sign Bill Banning All Mandatory Vaccines

a photo of a person getting a vaccine shot
Karen Kasler
Statehouse News Bureau

Gov. Mike DeWine spoke out on a bill that would ban mandatory vaccines and so-called vaccine passports, which has been set for a four-hour long hearing Tuesday, during the legislative break.

And DeWine suggested that he’d have a hard time signing it.

DeWine said he’s surprised that a lawmaker would propose House Bill 248 that would ban vaccines from childhood inoculations to meningitis shots. He said hospitals should decide how to keep their patients safe, and schools shouldn’t be told they can’t require certain shots.

“That goes against local control and so I’m surprised by that and certainly, you know, it’s, bills that I’ve looked at, I’m certainly not in favor of doing that," DeWine said.

The bill bans vaccine mandates by schools, day care centers, nursing homes, health care providers, insurers, colleges and universities and employers. And it would ban any entity from refusing service or treating unvaccinated people differently from those who’ve had their shots.

The bill doesn't deal with mandatory COVID-19 vaccines in public colleges and universities. Those are banned under a law that takes effect in October that prohibits requiring vaccines that don't have full FDA approval. DeWine had said when he signed it that he was hoping COVID vaccines would have that full approval by the time the law went into effect. And he's said he doesn't have any problem with colleges requiring COVID shots before the law takes effect.

A hearing on the bill in June got national attention, largely because it featured false information about COVID vaccines. Among those who testified was Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, named as one of the "disinformation dozen" providing the bulk of disinformation about COVID shots on social media. Twitter removed her account after her testimony, in which she suggested that there are investigations into the vaccines "magnetizing" people or "interfacing" with 5G cell towers.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.