Texas Governor Issues Executive Order Banning Vaccine Mandates

Greg Abbott said his order was in response to the Biden Administration's "federal overreach" and "bullying"

Texas Governor Greg Abbott
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool/Getty

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has banned coronavirus vaccine mandates in the state in a new executive order issued Monday.

Under the order, Texas now prohibits governmental entities — including private businesses — from requiring individuals, employees or consumers to receive a coronavirus vaccine.

Abbott wrote that his order is a direct response to President Joe Biden's executive order issued last month, which requires all companies with workforces of over 100 to ensure that their employees are vaccinated against COVID-19, or undergo weekly testing if they do not receive the vaccine.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Spencer Platt/Getty

"In yet another instance of federal overreach, the Biden Administration is now bullying many private entities into imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates, causing workforce disruptions that threaten Texas's continued recovery from the COVID- 19 disaster," Abbott wrote in his executive order.

The republican lawmaker noted that "COVID-19 vaccines are strongly encouraged for those eligible to receive one, but must always be voluntary for Texans."

He echoed a similar sentiment in a statement released on his website Monday, which read, "The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus, but should remain voluntary and never forced."

Abbott recently tested positive for COVID-19, announcing his results in late August. A spokesperson for the governor said at the time that Abbott had experienced a breakthrough infection after being "fully vaccinated" against the virus.

The governor has attracted national attention for his handling of the pandemic over the past year-and-a-half. In July, he issued an executive order banning the government from requiring entities to mandate face masks, including in public school districts.

Earlier this year, he announced the full re-opening of his state in early March, when most Americans had not received the COVID-19 vaccine and Texas was seeing high numbers of deaths and hospitalizations caused by the virus.

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