AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order on Monday, Oct. 11, stating that no entity in Texas can compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccination by any individual.
According to the executive order, that includes 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.
I issued an Executive Order prohibiting vaccine mandates by ANY entity in Texas.
I also added the issue to the Special Session agenda.
The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, & our best defense against the virus, but should always remain voluntary & never forced. pic.twitter.com/8hHHLyebCk
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) October 11, 2021
Governor Abbott also 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The executive order will be rescinded upon the passage of such legislation.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,” Gov. Abbott said in a statement.
Multiple school districts in Texas are defying Gov. Greg Abbott’s earlier ban on mask mandates to protect against the spread of COVID-19.
The state has filed lawsuits against those districts.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick tweeted his approval of Gov. Abbott’s new executive order.
“I’ve been public about being vaccinated myself. But I’ve consistently said taking the COVID vax is a personal decision & should never be forced on anyone by the state or a private employer. Now that it’s on the call, the Senate will move swiftly to take up this matter,” he said.
I’ve been public about being vaccinated myself. But I’ve consistently said taking the COVID vax is a personal decision & should never be forced on anyone by the state or a private employer. Now that it's on the call, the Senate will move swiftly to take up this matter. #txlege
— Dan Patrick (@DanPatrick) October 11, 2021
READ EXECUTIVE ORDER HERE
Soon after the executive order was announced, Gov. Abbott’s Republican Primary for the 2022 election, Don Huffines declared victory over “forcing Greg Abbott to reverse (his) position on vaccine mandates.”
“When I tell Texans I’m serious about protecting their God-given liberties I mean it,” said Huffines in a statement. “As Governor I will ensure no Texan is ever fired for refusing to take a vaccine. I am very pleased to see that our campaign has forced Greg Abbott to reverse his position on this important issue.”
Texas has seen a recent decrease in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
But a rising death toll from the recent surge caused by the delta variant has the state rapidly approaching 67,000 total fatalities since the pandemic began in 2020.