Ohio schools can't require COVID shots — for now
While COVID-19 vaccines are now available for children ages 5 and older, it's unlikely they'll be added to Ohio's schedule of required student vaccinations any time soon.
Catch up quick: Shortly after the school year started, an Ohio law took effect prohibiting K-12 schools and state universities from mandating vaccines that do not have full FDA approval.
- Pfizer, the only shot available to children, is only fully approved for ages 16 and up.
- For kids ages 5-15, it's being made available through emergency use authorization.
Why it matters: The Biden administration hoped to rely on schools as a "trusted messenger" in support of coronavirus vaccines, but schools have become a political battleground as the Omicron variant roars across the U.S.
The big picture: The laws passed to date take different approaches, but overall, 17 states forbid schools requiring COVID vaccines, Axios' Sophia Cai reports.
- Four states and D.C., meanwhile, have various forms of mandates requiring them.
Of note: Just 16.1% of kids ages 5-11 and 42.4% of those 12-17 are fully vaccinated against COVID, making them the least protected age groups in Ohio.
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