Abbott Issues Executive Order Prohibiting Vaccine Mandates

Last week, Gov. Greg Abbott issued another executive order cracking down on COVID-19 vaccine mandates, banning any entity in Texas, including private businesses, from requiring vaccinations for employees or customers.

“No entity in Texas can compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine by any individual, including an employee or a 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 order reads. “I hereby suspend all relevant statutes to the extent necessary to enforce this prohibition.”

“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus, but should remain voluntary and never forced,” Abbott added.

The order marks a significant reversal after Abbott previously gave private businesses the choice to mandate vaccines for workers, according to the Texas Tribune.

Those found in violation of the order could be subject to a fine.

Read more from the Texas Tribune here and Abbott’s office here.

In other news:

  • The White House told governors to start preparing to vaccinate children as young as 5 by early next month in anticipation of clearance of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine for the age group in the coming weeks. Read more from NBC News here.
  • Do you still need to be wearing a mask indoors? Check this map from NPR to find out.

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