CSU squeezes in vaccine mandate before new state law takes effect

Ohio recently passed a bill prohibiting public schools from mandating the COVID vaccine prior to full FDA approval.

Cleveland State University is continuing the requirement until the law goes into effect on October 12.

Cleveland State University is requiring students living on campus to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, an order that appears to contradict Governor Mike DeWine’s signing House Bill 244 on July 14, which prohibits that type of mandate. 

Though the new law prohibits Ohio’s public universities from mandating student COVID-19 vaccinations prior to the Food and Drug Administration’s full approval of the vaccine, it does not go into effect until October 12. 

According to MarketWatch, Pfizer may not receive full Food and Drug Administration approval for their coronavirus vaccine, which is approved for emergency use, until January 2022.

[RELATED: Group plans to file lawsuit against University System of Maryland over vaccine mandate]

Dave Kielmeyer, the interim vice president for marketing and communications at Cleveland State University, told Campus Reform that the university plans to comply with the new law when it goes into effect on October 12.

”Cleveland State University is preparing to fully comply with the new law when it takes effect in October,” Kielmeyer said. “The University’s requirement that all students living in our residence halls be vaccinated for COVID-19 remains in effect for the start of the fall semester. Medical and religious exemptions are available for qualifying individuals.”

[RELATED: OR community college waives vaccine requirement, citing diversity and equity]

Following Governor DeWine’s signing of the new bill, the university released a statement encouraging their students and faculty to get vaccinated, Spectrum News 1 reported.

“Over the last three semesters, our students, faculty, and staff have worked hard to keep our community safe. As a result, Cleveland State University achieved one of lowest infection rates among urban universities in the country,” the university said. “We continue to strongly encourage all students, faculty, and staff to get vaccinated. It’s the best way they can protect themselves, their family, and our community. All three of the approved vaccines are safe, effective, and readily available.”

Reem Abumeri, a student at CSU, told Campus Reform that, “It’s unfortunate that this year’s pandemic has become more about the politics and less about the health and safety of people.”

“It’s a tough decision for everyone but at the end of the day, CSU has more reasoning for knowing what’s best for their students more than an outside source would,” Abumeri said.

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