Texas Governor Greg Abbott is taking definitive action to prevent vaccine mandates from being forced on Texan workers in order to keep their jobs.
Abbott signed an executive order on Monday banning “any entity” from requiring proof of vaccination from Texans who have personal, religious, or medical objections. He specified that natural immunity is a legitimate medical objection.
“No entity in Texas can compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccination by any individual, including an employee or consumer, who objects to such vaccination for any reason of personal conscience, based on a religious belief, or for medical reasons, including prior recovery from COVID-19,” Abbott wrote in a statement.
Addressing skepticism that he opposes the vaccine itself, the Republican governor clarified that although he encourages Texans to receive the vaccine, he believes it should always “remain voluntary.”
“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus, but should remain voluntary and never forced,” Abbott said in a statement.
I issued an Executive Order prohibiting vaccine mandates by ANY entity in Texas.
I also added the issue to the Special Session agenda.
The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, & our best defense against the virus, but should always remain voluntary & never forced. pic.twitter.com/8hHHLyebCk
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) October 11, 2021
The governor added that he “also added the issue to the Special Session agenda,” where it will be considered for drafting legislation.
Abbott signed the order after Southwest Airlines, based in Dallas, experience mass cancellations of nearly 2,000 flight cancellations, which were reportedly caused by employee “sit-outs” in protest of the airline’s vaccine mandate.
Although the governor did not state that his executive order is correlated with the Dallas-based airline’s vaccine mandate, it would certainly apply to the company which employs hundreds of Texans.
Texas is the latest state to take action against unconstitutional vaccine mandates after Florida took similar sweeping action, in addition to several Republican states.