Abbott outlaws COVID-19 vaccine requirements in Texas via executive order, puts other limits on local governments

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FILE – In this Tuesday, June 8, 2021, file photo, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

AUSTIN, Texas — Governor Greg Abbott issued an updated order Thursday afternoon concerning COVID-19. The order outlaws vaccine requirements by state and local government agencies.

More specifically, it said no governmental entity can compel someone to receive a COVID-19 vaccine administered under an emergency use authorization. Currently, the FDA allows COVID-19 vaccines under emergency use rather than full approval.

“The new Executive Order emphasizes that the path forward relies on personal responsibility rather than government mandates,” Abbott said. “Vaccines, which remain in abundant supply, are the most effective defense against the virus, and they will always remain voluntary – never forced – in the State of Texas.”

Representative Donna Howard, a Democrat from Austin, was critical.

Howard said, “Governor Abbott is intent on preventing our local officials from exercising their best judgement to keep our communities safe. This is beyond inaction — this is the governor tying the hands of health experts who are trying to keep Texans healthy as cases and hospitalizations increase.”

READ the entire order here.

Some of the highlights are:

  • No governmental entity can compel any individual to receive a COVID-19 vaccine administered under an emergency use authorization.
  • As stated above, business activities and legal proceedings are free to proceed without COVID-19-related limitations imposed by local governmental entities or officials.
  • No governmental entity, including a county, city, school district, and public health authority, and no governmental official may require any person to wear a face covering or to mandate that another person wear a face covering;
  • Even though face coverings cannot be mandated by any governmental entity, that does not prevent individuals from wearing one if they choose.
  • I hereby suspend all relevant laws to the extent necessary to ensure that local officials do not confine people in jail for violating any executive order or local order issued in response to the COVID-l9 disaster.

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