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Ohio will not require COVID-19 vaccine in schools, officials say

This comes after the CDC added the vaccine to the list of recommended childhood vaccines.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Editor's note: The attached video is from a story that aired on WTOL 11 sister station, WKYC, on Oct. 20, 2022.

On Thursday, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) voted unanimously to add the COVID-19 vaccination to a list of recommended childhood vaccinations. 

Despite claims this decision would require school-age children to receive the vaccine in order to attend schools, the CDC clarified that its recommendation does not determine school attendance vaccine requirements; that decision lies with state and local jurisdictions. 

According to state officials, the CDC recommendation does not change Ohio law, which currently does not require the COVID-19 vaccination for school attendance. In a statement from the Ohio Department of Health released on Friday, ODH director Bruce Vanderhoff corroborated the CDC's distinctions between recommendations and state-level requirements. 

“The State of Ohio does not mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for school attendance," Vanderhoff said. "The ACIP vote does not change Ohio law. The state’s list of required vaccines can only be changed through legislation.”

RELATED: 'If you are not vaccinated or boosted, now is the time': Ohio Department of Health advises residents to be on alert for COVID-19 ahead of holidays

Ohio requires several vaccines for school attendance, though COVID-19 vaccination is not among them. Currently, the state requires school age children in grades K-12 to receive vaccines for polio, hepatitis B, chickenpox and several others. The full list can be viewed here

Ohio also requires some vaccinations for attendance at childcare facilities. The list can be viewed here

RELATED: US clears new COVID booster for kids 5 and older, but many haven't gotten initial shots


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