Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Wednesday, outlawing COVID-19 vaccine mandates irrespective of FDA approval.
The executive order maintains Abbott’s April 2021 decision to prohibit state agencies, government entities and businesses from requiring proof of vaccination administered under an “emergency use authorization.”
The new order, however, does not mention the vaccines’ emergency authorization as a reason for the ban. It states that “no governmental entity can compel any individual to receive a COVID 19 vaccine.”
The need for the updated order reportedly came after the FDA granted Monday full approval to the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech for individuals 16 years of age or older, according to The Texas Tribune. (RELATED: Here Are The Major US Corporations Mandating Vaccines For Their Employees)
I issued an Executive Order maintaining the prohibition of vaccine mandates.
Additionally, I’ve added the issue of vaccine mandates to the Special Session agenda.#txlege involvement is important to avoid a patchwork of vaccine mandates across Texas.https://t.co/mZQJEkUJqJ pic.twitter.com/C7BtyN7bRx
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) August 25, 2021
The governor said in the order that any decisions on the applicability and legitimacy of state-imposed vaccine mandates should be considered by the state lawmakers.
“Vaccine requirements and exemptions have historically been determined by the legislature, and their involvement is particularly important to avoid a patchwork of vaccine mandates across Texas,” Abbott said.
Abbott, who is fully vaccinated, tested positive for COVID-19 Aug. 17 amidst a 53% surge in cases in Texas, but said he experienced no symptoms. His COVID-19 test results started to come back negative just four days after he had contracted the virus.