Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday issued an executive order that bans vaccine mandates “by any entity,” including private employers, in the state.
“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 upon issuing the order.
The executive order (pdf) states, “No entity in Texas can compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine by any individual, including an employee or a 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.”
“I hereby suspend all relevant statutes to the extent necessary to enforce this prohibition,” Abbott wrote in the order.
He also added the issue as an item to the legislature in efforts to have state lawmakers pass a law to similar effect.
“The executive order will be rescinded upon the passage of such legislation,” Abbott wrote.
This story is developing, please check back for updates.