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Government/Politics

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

A patient gets a flu shot in a pharmacy in central Ohio. Some hospitals and health care providers require flu shots, but would not be permitted to under this bill.
Karen Kasler
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The bill is set for a hearing next week.

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 next 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 mandatory 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. She was deplatformed by Twitter after her testimony, in which she suggested that there are investigations into the vaccines "magnetizing" people or "interfacing" with 5G cell towers.