Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a new executive order banning all local vaccine mandates on Wednesday. The ban comes as Texas reported its most COVID-19 patients in hospitals since the pandemic began.
Abbott’s office explained the measure in a press release. (Story continues below.)
“Governor Abbott today issued an Executive Order maintaining the current policy prohibiting the mandating of any COVID-19 vaccinations by any government entity in the State of Texas,” the office said.
“Additionally, the Governor added to the Special Session agenda the issue of whether any state or local governmental entities in Texas can mandate that an individual receive a COVID-19 vaccine and, if so, what exemptions should apply to such mandate.”
The executive order is Gov. Abbott’s latest attempt to reign in any new government regulations surrounding COVID pandemic. With the FDA’s recent approval for the Pfizer vaccine, he felt it necessary to issue the executive order.
“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,” he said.
Abbott has repeatedly worked to prevent public institutions from mandating masks and/or vaccines. He has received the most pushback from school districts that believe the masks are critical to ensuring public safety.
“The Lone Star State continues to defeat COVID-19 through the use of widely-available vaccines, antibody therapeutic drugs, and safe practices utilized by Texans in our communities,” Abbott said.
“Texans, not government, should decide their best health practices, which is why masks will not be mandated by public school districts or government entities. We can continue to mitigate COVID-19 while defending Texans’ liberty to choose whether or not they mask up.”