Ohio bill would defend people who refuse vaccine from discrimination

Coronavirus in Ohio

This picture taken on November 17, 2020 shows a syringe and a bottle reading “Vaccine Covid-19. (Photo by JOEL SAGET/AFP via Getty Images)

COLUMBUS, OH (WTRF)—An Ohio representative introduced the Vaccine Choice & Anti-Discrimination Act that protects individuals who choose not to be vaccinated from discrimination due to vaccine status.  

A nurse practitioner, State Rep. Jennifer Gross (R-West Chester), said she is pro-vaccine but wants to protect the rights of those who refuse to get it.

“There are eleven and a half million people in Ohio,” said Gross. “Many people across the state may be likely to decline vaccines like the COVID-19 vaccine for conscientious, religious, or medical reasons. Without the exemption provisions this bill provides, the notion of a vaccine passport could easily lead to a class system in Ohio where segregation and discrimination will proliferate.”

Under House Bill 248, individuals who decline any vaccine will still be able to function and operate in the state just as those who have been given a vaccine, and the bill would prevent all entities in the state of Ohio from discriminatory treatment of citizens based on their vaccination status.

“This is a matter of freedom,” added Gross. “The purpose of this legislation is to allow people to choose to do what they feel is best for their own body and protect individuals from any consequences or hardships for choosing one way or the other.”

According to the Ohio Department of Health, over three million people have received the COVID-19 vaccine thus far.

H.B. 248 now awaits referral to a House committee.

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