Ban on COVID-19 vaccine mandates in public schools, government proposed

Supporters of House Bill 248, which would prohibit employers from requiring vaccines among other provisions, gathered outside the Statehouse on Tuesday.

After a sweeping anti-vaccine mandate bill hit a snag in the Ohio House, Springfield Republican Kyle Koehler is pushing a more tailored measure that would apply only to COVID-19 vaccines.

"I believe we need to move now and move quickly to protect the freedoms of individuals and private businesses, while telling government that they cannot trample on our rights," Koehler said in an email sent to his fellow state representatives on Thursday. 

His bill would do the following:

  • Block governments, public schools, state agencies and state universities from requiring someone to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be mandated to show proof of vaccination.
  • Prohibit those entities from penalizing employees based on their COVID-19 immunization status.
  • Sunset the measure after two years.

It wouldn't place restrictions on private businesses. Hospitals and business associations have been furiously lobbying against House Bill 248, which would block employers from mandating vaccines for their employees or requiring proof of vaccination from customers.

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