Governor Greg Abbott today issued an executive order stating that 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.
Governor Abbott also sent a message to the Chief Clerk of the House and Secretary of the Senate adding this issue as an item to the Third Special Session agenda. The executive order will be rescinded upon the passage of such legislation.
Governor Greg Abbott tweeted: “The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus, but should remain voluntary and never forced,” said Governor Abbott.
Issuing an Executive Order prohibiting vaccine mandates by any entity. This issue has also been added to the Third Special Session agenda.
Issuing an Executive Order prohibiting vaccine mandates by any entity.
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) October 11, 2021
From the Executive Order:
WHEREAS, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, issued a disaster proclamation on March 13, 2020, certifying under Section 4 1 8.014 of the Texas Government Code that the
novel coronavirus (COVID- 19) poses an imminent threat of disaster for all Texas counties; and
WHEREAS, in each subsequent month effective through today, I have renewed the COVID-19 disaster declaration for all Texas counties; and
WHEREAS, I have issued a series of executive orders aimed at protecting the health and safety of Texans, ensuring uniformity throughout Texas, and achieving the least restrictive means of combatting the evolving threat to public health; and
WHEREAS, COVID-19 vaccines are strongly encouraged for those eligible to receive one, but must always be voluntary for Texans; and
WHEREAS, I issued Executive Orders GA-35, GA-38, and GA-39 to prohibit governmental entities and certain others from imposing COVID- 19 vaccine mandates or requiring vaccine passports; and
WHEREAS, 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; and
WHEREAS, countless Texans fear losing their livelihoods because they object to receiving a COVID- 1 9 vaccination for reasons of personal conscience, based on a religious belief, or for medical reasons, including prior recovery from COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, through Chapter 16 1 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, as well as other laws including Chapters 38 and 5 1 of the Texas Education Code, the legislature has established its primary role over immunizations, and all immunization laws and regulations in Texas stem from the laws established by the legislature; and
WHEREAS, the legislature has taken care to provide exemptions that allow people to opt-out of being forced to take a vaccine for reasons of conscience or medical reasons; and
WHEREAS, I am adding this issue to the agenda for the Third Called Session of the legislature that is currently convened so that the legislature has the opportunity to consider this issue through legislation; and
WHEREAS, I will rescind this executive order upon the effective date of such legislation;