Arguing parents have a right to decide whether or not their children should receive an experimental vaccine not fully approved by the FDA, Ohio lawmakers passed a bill banning public schools and universities from requiring that students get a COVID-19 shot.
The ban was part of last-minute additions in a bill sent Tuesday to Republican Gov. Mike DeWine. Employees of public schools and universities also are exempt under the legislation, the Columbus Dispatch reported.
“Parents, in consultation with their personal doctors, have the right to make decisions about their children especially for vaccinations that are not fully approved by the FDA,” said Republican Sen. Andrew Brenner. “This is about personal rights.”
State House Speaker Bob Cupp, also a Republican, said there “was a lot of feeling that you just don’t want to force kids to do it if their parents don’t want them to.”
Democrats opposed the additions to House Bill 244.
“Vaccines are safe. They are effective,” said Democratic Rep. Allison Russo. “COVID-19 is still a threat to this state.”
The Dispatch noted the vote came hours before Cincinnati Public Schools discussed requiring staff members to get vaccinated. Cleveland State University plans to require students living in residence halls this fall to be vaccinated.
Last week, the inventor of the mRNA technology behind the COVID-19 vaccines warned that Americans don’t have enough information to decide whether or not the benefits of getting the shots outweigh the risks.
Dr. Robert Malone emphasized that “people have the right to decide whether to accept vaccines or not, especially since these are experimental vaccines.”
He said regarding younger Americans that he “has a bias that the benefits probably don’t outweigh the risks in that cohort.”
Also last week, a Canadian surgeon who called for pausing the COVID-19 vaccinations for children was suspended from the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine and fired by the Saskatchewan Health Authority.
Emphasizing the need for “informed consent,” Dr. Francis Christian said that at a minimum, parents and children should be made aware of eight points of concern. Among them is that mRNA is an experimental vaccine design with only “interim authorization” in Canada and that “COVID-19 does not pose a threat to our kids.”
Last Wednesday, the FDA said it will add a warning to Pfizer and Moderna vaccines after a CDC advisory panel pointed to data showing a “likely association” between the vaccines and rare cases of heart inflammation in adolescents and young adults.
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