Health leaders are concerned about the anti-vaccination measures included in the Senate budget bill


Some public health officials are alarmed after learning of a measure included in the Senate version of the state budget bill that would have allowed students at all public and private universities and colleges to be denied vaccinations currently prescribed.

Melissa Vervey Arnold, CEO of the Ohio chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said many colleges now require vaccinations for things like meningitis or measles — especially for students who live in dorms.

And you don’t know of any Ohio college that doesn’t allow exemptions for religious or medical reasons. So the provision is not needed, she said.

The Senate’s version of the budget would weaken public health coverage at colleges now, Wervey Arnold said, and she doesn’t like the way it’s being done.

“By putting this in the budget, it’s preventing a lot of people from having input or having an opinion or knowledge about why this might be a problem,” Wervey Arnold said.

Senators said they are still working on their budget plan and hope to vote on it in full in the coming days.


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