Texas Governor Greg Abbott bans mandatory vaccination in state

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has issued an executive order banning all organisations, including private companies, from enforcing vaccinations in the state.

Abbott, a Republican, has been one of the most vocal US leaders opposed to making coronavirus mandatory.

He has issued similar orders before, but this is the first to include private employers and their customers.

Many see mandating vaccines as encroaching on personal freedoms. The governor has called on state lawmakers to pass a ban into law.

“The Covid-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defence against the virus, but should remain voluntary and never forced,” said Abbott in a statement.

The move will pit him against Democrat President Joe Biden, who called on firms last month to introduce mandatory vaccines for their staff.

Earlier this year, Abbott lifted the requirement to wear masks in the state. He also signed an executive order in August against mandatory vaccinations for people who work in government agencies, including public schools and universities.

Courts in Texas are dealing with multiple challenges to the lifting of the requirement to wear facemasks.

Abbott tested positive for coronavirus in August during a state-wide surge of hospital admissions. He credited his quick recovery to being fully vaccinated.

The latest order comes as Abbott faces pressure from two rival candidates in next year’s Republican primary: former state Senator Don Huffines, and former Florida Congressman Allen West. Both competitors are strongly opposed to mandatory vaccinations.



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