Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order prohibiting Covid-19 vaccinations mandates for employees and customers in the second-largest US state.
“The Covid-19 vaccine, which is safe and effective, is our best defense against the disease, but it should be voluntary and never forced,” Xinhua reported Tuesday, citing the Republican Governor.
The order states that no Texas entity can force vaccination against anyone who object “for any reason” (either for personal conscience or medical reasons.
Abbott also asked the Texas legislature for a law to the same effect.
This was after President Joe Biden announced last month a federal mandate that requires companies with more than 100 employees to ensure their workforce is vaccinated and regularly tested.
Abbott stated in his order, “In yet another instance federal government overreach the Biden administration is now bullying numerous private entities into imposing Covid-19 vaccination mandates, causing workforce disruptions which threaten Texas’ continued recovery after the Covid-19 catastrophe.”
Over the summer, Governor George W. Bush issued executive orders prohibiting local governments and school districts to require vaccines or masks. He also imposed a $1,000 penalty on those who don’t comply.
Local media reported that school districts in San Antonio, Dallas and Houston have challenged the order.
According to a report by The Texas Tribune, 52 percent of Texans (including the Governor) are fully vaccinated.