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Breaking: DeWine Signs Bill Restricting COVID Vaccine Requirements at Public Universities

COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 Vaccine | Pexels

DeWine signed a bill Wednesday afternoon preventing public schools and universities from requiring students, staff and faculty to receive vaccinations not fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This includes the Covid-19 vaccines.

Ohio House Bill 244 also prohibits “discrimination against individuals who have not received a vaccine” according to the text. Leaving “discrimination” up for interpretation.

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 (District 41) and Brian Lampton (District 73), is part of a series of proposed covid-19 vaccination bills.

The law will go into effect in 90 days according to the Ohio Senate’s website.

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, the 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

Now that the bill has been signed into law, it is unclear whether WSU will continue to gather coronavirus vaccine information from students or incentivize the vaccine. Campus housing has yet to announce what happens with already submitted student vaccination information.

The Wright State Guardian reached out to Dean of Students Chris Taylor 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

News Reporter