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Abbott Prohibits Texas Government Entities From Requiring Any Type Of COVID-19 Vaccine

A COVID-19 vaccine is administered to a patient during a pop-up vaccine clinic in East Austin.
A COVID-19 vaccine is administered to a patient during a pop-up vaccine clinic in East Austin.

On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, opening the door for cities, counties, school districts and public universities in Texas to issue vaccine mandates. The governor's new order closes that door once more.

Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Wednesday prohibiting government entities from requiring people to get any type of COVID-19 vaccine, even those with full FDA approval.

In July, the governor issued an order prohibiting government entities from requiring COVID-19 vaccines that were approved under an emergency use authorization. At the time, all COVID-19 vaccines approved in the U.S. fell under that category.

But on Monday, the Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, opening the door for cities, counties, school districts and public universities in Texas to issue vaccine mandates.

Abbott’s new order closes that door once more. The governor did not provide a reason why the fully approved COVID-19 vaccine is different from other fully approved vaccines local governments are able to require.

The new restriction doesn’t apply to private companies, which can still require employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Abbott also added to the special legislative session agenda the issue of whether state or local government agencies can require people to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and what exemptions should apply.

“Vaccine requirements and exemptions have historically been determined by the legislature, and their involvement is particularly important to avoid a patchwork of vaccine mandates across Texas,” Abbott said in a press release.

Copyright 2021 KUT 90.5. To see more, visit KUT 90.5.