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Cleveland St to require coronavirus vaccinations despite law

Cleveland St to require coronavirus vaccinations despite law

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Cleveland State University said Thursday it will continue to require that students living on campus be vaccinated against the coronavirus despite a new law prohibiting public schools and colleges in Ohio from mandating the vaccine.The school, the only public university in the state with such a requirement, said the mandate will continue since the fall term begins Aug. 21 and the law doesn’t take effect until October.“Over the last three semesters, our students, faculty, and staff have worked hard to keep our community safe,” said spokesperson Allison Bibb-Carson. “As a result, Cleveland State University achieved one of lowest infection rates among urban universities in the country.”About 1,000 Cleveland State students live on campus out of a total enrollment of nearly 16,000 students. Medical and religious exemptions are available, Bibb-Carson said.The university said it would comply with the law once it takes effect.The bill signed into law Wednesday by Republican Gov. Mike DeWine and aimed at the coronavirus vaccine bans public schools and colleges from requiring individuals to receive vaccines not granted full approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.The bill, which takes effect Oct. 12, would also prohibit individuals who don’t receive emergency use vaccines from being denied the chance to participate in school activities such as sports.DeWine signed the legislation just hours after his top medical advisor warned that vaccination trends have led to the development of “two Ohios” when it comes to combating the coronavirus, increasing vulnerability to the disease’s highly contagious delta variant.A day before signing the bill, the governor said the FDA needs to move coronavirus vaccines from emergency use authorization to full approval as soon as possible. He said the emergency element is leading to vaccine hesitancy in the state.On Thursday, a DeWine spokesperson said the governor is confident the ban won’t be needed for long.The prohibition “was limited to vaccines that do not have full FDA approval,” said Dan Tierney. “We are confident that these vaccines, proven repeatedly to be very safe and very effective, will be approved by the FDA, thus rendering this issue moot.”Moderna and Pfizer have both begun the process to win full regulatory approval.Last month, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchison also called on the FDA to issue full approval, saying the lack of it was leading to vaccine hesitancy in his state.“We need to get that research completed so it can be final approval — I think that will help,” Hutchison said on CBS’ Face the Nation.In North Carolina on Thursday, Dr. Mandy Cohen, the state’s top public health official, called the vaccines safe and effective and subject to rigorous clinical trials and review before their implementation.“I’m hoping the FDA is working as rapidly as possible to get to full approval for the vaccine,” said Cohen, the state’s Health and Human Services secretary.A handful of private colleges in Ohio that are requiring students to be vaccinated, including Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware and Kenyon College in Gambier, won’t be affected by the law.“We continue to believe that immunization is the best way to promote the health of our community,” said Kenyon spokesperson Janet Marsden.The Ohio prohibition was a last-minute GOP addition to a bill aimed at minimizing disruptions for children of military families moving into or out of school districts as a result of their parents’ deployments.House Republicans are also pushing another bill that would prohibit employers, either public or private, from requiring employees to receive vaccinations. The measure before the GOP-controlled House Health Committee has attracted multiple opponents of COVID-19 vaccines but does not mention the coronavirus. Instead, it addresses mandatory requirements for all vaccines, such as for the flu.Lawmakers adjourned for the summer without moving the bill out of committee. It’s opposed by every major business group in Ohio along with multiple medical, hospital and health care groups.———Associated Press writers Andrew DeMillo in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Bryan Anderson in Raleigh, North Carolina, contributed to this report.———Follow AP’s coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic.

Ohio ends incentive lottery with mixed vaccination results

Ohio ends incentive lottery with mixed vaccination results

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio, the state that launched the national movement to offer millions of dollars in incentives to boost vaccination rates, planned to conclude its program Wednesday — still unable to crack the 50% vaccination threshold.The state’s not alone in mixed results for prize giving.Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s May 12 announcement of the incentive program had the desired effect, leading to a 43% boost in state vaccination numbers over the previous week. But numbers of vaccinations have dropped since then.“Clearly the impact went down after that second week,” DeWine acknowledged Wednesday.Multiple other states followed Ohio’s lead, including Louisiana, Maryland, and New York state , with the impact on vaccinations hard to pin down.Under New Mexico’s “Vax 2 the Max” sweepstakes program, vaccinated residents could win prizes from a pool totaling $10 million. The rewards include a $5 million grand prize that will be drawn later this summer. The sweepstakes kept the vaccination rate from declining further but the initial boost was small. According to the governor’s office, the seven-day average of new vaccination registrations was 1,437 per day during the first week of the contest — just 85 more per day than the previous week.California awarded $116.5 million in prizes — the country’s largest pot of vaccine prize money — and Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom said they increased vaccinations at a time when more was needed to get people to overcome reservations or inertia.From the time the incentives were announced May 27 until the June 15 finale, Newsom said California was one of the few states to see a week-over-week increase in the rate of vaccinations, including a 22% increase in the week prior to awarding of the grand prizes.The Sacramento Bee noted that the increase was skewed because the previous week included three lower vaccination days over the Memorial Day weekend, and found most of the increase was from second doses of the Pfizer vaccine three weeks after 12- to 15-year-olds became eligible on May 13.In West Virginia, Gov. Jim Justice, a Republican, hoped to use a series of prize giveaways to inject new life into a vaccine drive that drastically slowed down after a strong early start.When he announced the drawings last month, Justice had projected that more than two-thirds of eligible residents ages 12 and over would be vaccinated by the time he removed a mask mandate on Sunday. But the state fell short of that goal — 61.5% had received at least one dose by Sunday’s first drawing.In late May, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced that Oregonians who are 18 or older and have received at least a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine will automatically be entered to win $1 million or one of 36 $10,000 prizes — with one winner in each county. Oregonians, ages 12 to 17, have a chance to win one of five $100,000 scholarships. The drawing is set to take place on June 28.The Oregonian reported in early June that the seven-day average of adults receiving their first shots had actually decreased from about 9,000 the day before Brown, a Democrat, announced the lottery to 6,700 nearly two weeks later.This month, Brown announced additional prizes including travel packages to destinations around Oregon and more than 1,500 gift cards, worth $100, that were being distributed at vaccine sites during the weekend of June 12 – an incentive that officials said brought a noticeable increase of people to sites.In Colorado, vaccinations have slowed since its lottery was rolled out by Democratic Gov. Jared Polis last month, with about 589,000 fewer doses given out in the month since Polis’ announcement, compared to the same amount of time a month before the contest began.The state is offering five residents the chance to win $1 million each in weekly lottery drawings from June 4 until July 7.In Ohio, about 5.5 million people have received at least one shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as of Wednesday, or about 47% of the population. About 5 million people, or 43% of the population, have completed the process.While the incentive’s success was short-lived, it got Ohioans who were either straddling the line or those who had not plans to get the vaccine to get vaccinated, Ohio’s governor said.As evidence, Jonathan Carlyle of Toledo, an Amazon deliveryman who won the second $1 million prize on June 2, and said the next day: “When y’all announced the Vax-a-Million, as soon as I heard that, I was like ‘Yes, I need to go do this now.’”DeWine continues to urge Ohioans to get vaccines, saying the end of state social distancing requirements, the return to in-person school classes in the fall, and the multiplying of virus variants remain a concern. Last week, DeWine held a news conference at Thomas Worthington High School in suburban Columbus along with students and coaches urging middle and high school children who play sports to get vaccinated.——Associated Press writers Farnoush Amiri in Columbus, Ohio, Susan Montoya Bryan in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Sara Cline in Salem, Oregon; John Raby in Charleston, West Virginia; Patty Nieberg in Denver; and Don Thompson in Sacramento contributed to this report. Amiri, Cline and Nieberg are corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.———Follow AP’s coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic.