Texas Governor Greg Abbott has issued an executive order banning any COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the state.
The executive order states that no entity in Texas can compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccination by any individual, including an employee or consumer, who objects to such vaccination for any reason of personal conscience, based on a religious belief, or for medical reasons, including prior recovery from COVID-19.
The Republican Governor also called on both houses of the Texas legislature to pass a legislation expanding the ban on vaccine mandates in the current session.
The third special legislative session is running up to October 19.
Abbott sent a message to the the Chief Clerk of the House and Secretary of the Senate adding this issue as an item to the Third Special Session agenda. The executive order will be rescinded upon the passage of such legislation.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus, but should remain voluntary and never forced,” Abbott said in a statement.
Abbot, who is a known critic of President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate, says no organization in the state, including private companies, can enforce vaccination on their employees or customers.
Abbot’s move comes at a time the Biden administration is set to issue an emergency rule to require all employers with more than 100 employees under them, whether they work for the federal government or not, to ensure their workers are fully vaccinated or face testing at least once a week.
Speaking after meeting public and private sector leaders who have implemented vaccination requirements in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, last week, Biden said his latest campaign to fight the pandemic is already proving its worth.
More than 95 percent of students at colleges and universities across the country are vaccinated.
Biden said America’s largest aerospace companies — Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman — have all announced plans to implement vaccination requirements.
Increased vaccination coverage results in as many as 5 million American workers going back to work, according to Biden.
Biden said he tried everything in his power to get people vaccinated, but even after all those efforts, the country still had more than a quarter of people who were eligible for vaccinations but didn’t get the shot.
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