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Gov. Greg Abbott isn’t playing any games in Texas.
Abbott has banned COVID vaccine mandates and passports in Texas.
Abbott said, “COVID-19 vaccines are strongly encouraged for those eligible to receive one, but have always been voluntary for Texans.”
“No governmental entity can compel any individual to receive a COVID-19 vaccine,” he added.
“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 in a statement.
Despite FDA approval and the increasing number of private employers who are forcing staff members to get injected, Abbott isn’t following suit.
Abbott previously banned the mandates, but updated his order after Pfizer’s FDA approval. State and local vaccine mandates are banned. This forbids local governments from requiring shots or vaccine passports.
This does not apply to private companies, which still have a legal right to require shots for employees.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis agrees with Abbott and has issued a similar ban on government mandates.
Many Democrat-run cities are doing the opposite and require vaccine passports. For example, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot requires shots for city employees.
Under Biden, the Pentagon has ordered 800,000 active service members to get the shot.
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It comes as the battle over vaccine mandates heats up, with private employers such as Delta Air Lines fining employees who refuse to get vaccinated, and Democrat mayors such as Chicago’s Lori Lightfoot vowing to require the shots for all city employees.
The new order in Texas does not apply to private employers, which in the US generally have the right to require workers to get vaccinated. Instead it specifically prohibits mandates from government entities…
Abbott has asked the state legislature to take up the question of vaccine mandates and consider whether state and local governments should be able to require shots or passports.
Texas joins 11 other states that have banned vaccine mandates through legislation or executive order, including Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Indiana, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Utah. All have Republican governors.
Though the issue of vaccine mandates continues to be highly politically polarized, most Republican officials tend to support the right of private employers to require vaccines for employees, viewing the issue as best handled privately between workers and companies rather than by government fiat.
‘I don’t think the government should intervene. I think employers and employees should make those choices on their own,’ Rep. Andy Barr, a Kentucky Republican, told WLEX-TV on Wednesday. ‘That’s the way it should be.’