Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order on Monday stating that no entity in Texas can mandate getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
According to a statement from Abbott’s office, “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.”
The executive order follows several executive orders issued by Abbott, including GA-38 prohibiting entities from issuing mask mandates as it relates to COVID-19.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus, but should remain voluntary and never forced,” said Abbott in a press release.
According to the executive order, “the maximum fine allowed under Section 418.173 of the Texas Government Code and the State’s emergency management plan shall apply to any “failure to comply with” this executive order. Confinement in jail is not an available penalty for violating this executive order.”
This executive order doesn’t supersede executive orders GA-13, GA-37, GA-38, or GA-39.
The release added that Abbott has added this issue regarding vaccine mandates to the third special session agenda.
The new executive order goes further than Abbott’s previous vaccine mandate ban passed in August, which prohibited vaccine mandates by any state government entity or entities that received public funds.
Read the executive order: