After signing a bill earlier this year that banned Ohio’s public schools and universities from mandating vaccines that have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Gov. Mike DeWine (R) will reportedly veto a similar bill if it passed by the state Senate.

“A school, private college, or state institution of higher education shall not require a student to receive any of the following utilizing messenger ribonucleic acid, deoxyribonucleic acid, or any other genetic vaccine technology and for which the United States food and drug administration has not issued a biologics license or otherwise granted full approval,” HB 218 says.

It would also make students with natural immunity from a previous COVID-19 infection, along with students who object on religious grounds, exempt from the vaccine mandates.

That bill, sponsored by State Rep. Al Cutrona (R-District 59) passed the Ohio House of Representatives on November 18.

An Ohio law called HB 244 went into effect on October 13. DeWine signed that bill into law months prior. That bill contained the contingency that vaccines could be mandated as long as they are FDA approved.

DeWine’s office Thursday did not respond to a comment request asking why he chose to sign HB 244, but won’t sign HB 218.

Questions have also been raised about whether the vaccines being distributed in Ohio are indeed approved by the FDA.

The Ohio Star reported Wednesday that Pfizer confirmed that it’s still shipping its Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) vaccine. Asked if its FDA-approved vaccine, Comirnaty, is in use anywhere, Pfizer did not respond.

OhioHealth is a major distributor of vaccines in the Akron area, where Ohio University is located. If the FDA-approved version of the vaccination is not available in Ohio, then HB 244 should be enforceable.

DeWine’s office did not return a comment request seeking clarification on that issue, either.

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Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Mike DeWine” by Mike DeWine.