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An Ohio Bill Restricting Vaccine Requirments Could Impact WSU

COVID-19 vaccination card with personal information blocked out.

COVID-19 vaccination card with information blocked out| The Wright State Guardian

Ohio House Bill (H.B.) 244 heads to Governor Mike DeWine’s desk after passing in the Ohio House and Senate.  Restricting covid-19 vaccine requirements for state schools and universities, H.B 244 impacts Wright State University (WSU).  

The Bill

The bill first introduced by local Republican legislators, Andrea White (District41) and Brian Lampton (District 73), is part of a series of proposed covid-19 vaccination bills.

If signed into law, the bill would prohibit state schools and universities from requiring students, staff and faculty to receive vaccinations not fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Covid-19 vaccines fall under this category. The bill also prohibits “discrimination against individuals who have not received a vaccine” according to the text. Leaving “discrimination” up for interpretation.

The Bill, awaiting signature or veto by Governor Dewine, impacts universities including WSU. Having made no public announcements about his stance on the bill, his actions regarding it are uncertain. 

WSU’s covid-19 policies  

WSU currently does not require individuals to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to attend classes or live on campus. Campus policy requests those who are not fully vaccinated wear a mask. 

Currently voluntary, university housing administration asks students to submit their vaccination status to an online portal. Those who do not submit their status and live on campus are expected to participate in a “ survey testing program” through Wright State Physicians’, according to a campus announcement. 

Students not fully vaccinated with plans to live on campus in Fall 2021 cannot request to have a roommate.

Read more here: ‘Vaccinated Residential Students Permitted to Have Roommates Fall Semester’. 

Possible changes to WSU’s policies

If H.B. 244 is signed into law, WSU could no longer gather coronavirus vaccine information from students, nor could they incentivize the vaccine. Campus housing has yet to announce what happens with already submitted student information if the bill passes.

The Wright State Guardian reached out to Dr. Chris Taylor, Dean of Students for more information regarding possible changes to WSU’s Covid-19 policies due to H.B. 244 and was informed that decisions would be made in “ a few weeks.” No further comment was made.

Jamie Naylor