Following the rising rate of COVID-19 adverse effects on people, including deaths, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has issued an executive order Monday to prohibit any entity, including private business, from enforcing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on workers and also called on state lawmakers to pass a similar ban into law.
The move comes as the Biden administration is set to issue rules requiring employers with more than 100 workers to be vaccinated or tested weekly for the coronavirus. Several major companies, including Texas-based American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, have said they would abide by the federal mandate.
According to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), a total of 778,685 people have reported the vaccine’s adverse effect, including a total 16.310 deaths in the U.S alone.
Of the 7,437 U.S. deaths reported as of Oct. 1, 11% occurred within 24 hours of vaccination, 16% occurred within 48 hours of vaccination and 29% occurred in people who experienced an onset of symptoms within 48 hours of being vaccinated.
In the new Executive Order, Gov. Greg Abbott said 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.
Abbott, who was previously vaccinated and also later tested positive for COVID-19, noted in his order that “vaccines are strongly encouraged for those eligible to receive one, but must always be voluntary for Texans.”
Texas has seen a recent decrease in newly reported COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. But a rising death toll from the recent surge caused by the delta variant has the state rapidly approaching 67,000 total fatalities since the pandemic began in 2020.
Abbott previously barred vaccine mandates by state and local government agencies, but until now had let private companies make their own rules for their workers. It was not immediately clear if Abbott’s latest executive order would face a quick court challenge.