Abbott also called on lawmakers to pass a law banning the expanded vaccine mandates.

by Rebekah Allen

Oct 11, 20215: 58 Headquarters

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott, On Monday passed another executive order cracking down on COVID-19 vaccine mandates – this time banning any facility in Texas, including private companies, from requiring vaccinations for employees or customers.

Abbott also called on lawmakers to pass a law adopt with the same effect. The legislature is in its third special term ending October 19th.

Anyone 12 or older in Texas is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Children ages 12-17 can get the Pfizer vaccine, but COVID-19 vaccines are not mandatory for Texas students.

State and local health officials say the vaccine supply is healthy enough to meet demand across much of Texas. Most chain pharmacies and many independent pharmacies have a ready-to-use supply of the vaccine, which is given free of charge and mostly on a walk-in basis. Many private medical practices have it too. And you can see up-to-date lists of major vaccine centers that are still operating here.

The health authorities also have vaccines. You can enroll in the Texas Public Health Vaccine Scheduler either online or by phone. And companies or civil society organizations can set up their vaccination clinics to offer them to employers, visitors, customers or members.

Yes sir. Medical experts recommend that people who have had COVID-19 should still get the vaccine. If a person’s treatment included monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, they should speak to their doctor before making an appointment for a vaccination. The CDC recommends that people who received these treatments should wait 90 days before receiving the vaccine.

Yes sir. Health experts and officials largely agree that the vaccine is safe. The three currently approved vaccine manufacturers – Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson – said their vaccines were 95%, 94% and 72% effective, respectively, at protecting people from serious illness. While no vaccine is without side effects, clinical studies for Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson show that serious reactions are rare.

COVID-19 vaccine requirements by government agencies, cities, counties and school districts were already banned by a previous regulation – currently being fought in court by the San Antonio Independent School District. Legislators have also already enacted a ban on so-called vaccination passports – which would enable companies to request proof of vaccination in order to receive a service. However, by that time Texas had allowed private companies to require vaccines from their own employees.

The latest move appears to be partly motivated by the actions of President Joe Biden in September, adopted by all employers with more than 100 employees require vaccines to be prescribed for workers or to be tested for the virus weekly. Biden also urged all federal government employees and contractors to get vaccinated, which resulted in almost all major airlines – including Texas-based American Airlines and Southwest Airlines – announcing that they would be honoring the mandate.

“In another case of federal assaults, the Biden Administration is now harassing many private entities to issue COVID-19 vaccine mandates, causing workforce disruption that threatens the continued recovery of Texas from the COVID-19 disaster” Abbott said in his order.

About 52% of Texans are fully vaccinated. Abbott was vaccinated on TV and previously campaigned to help people get the vaccine. But in the past few months – as the Delta variant has seen a further surge in cases and hospital admissions – he has focused his political capital on fighting vaccine and mask mandates from local school districts and governments.

Updated: September 22, 2021

Updated: September 28, 2021

Updated: September 9, 2021

September 9, 2021

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