Gov. Greg Abbott bans Covid vaccine mandates in Texas, regardless of FDA approval status



Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday reissued his ban on Covid vaccine mandates by any state or local government entity, just days after Pfizer’s shot was granted full approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The executive order comes after the governor, who is recovering from his own case of Covid, touted the vaccine as the reason for his “brief & mild” infection.

The Pfizer news on Monday raised questions about the validity of Abbott’s previous executive order banning vaccines under emergency use authorization, but the governor’s latest order bans Covid vaccine mandates regardless of approval status. Abbott‘s order allows for exceptions for nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

Abbott added another agenda item to the legislative special session on Wednesday, asking the Legislature to consider taking action to address whether state or local entities can mandate the shots and, if so, what exemptions should be included in the mandate.

“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 statement.

Abbott has been one of the Republican governors at the forefront in the battle against Covid mandates. The governor issued an executive order banning government entities, including school districts, from issuing mask requirements this spring.

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