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Gov. Greg Abbott bans mandates on COVID-19 vaccines regardless of whether they have full FDA approval

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Posted at 3:10 PM, Aug 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-25 16:10:05-04

AUSTIN, TX — Gov. Greg Abbott bans mandates on COVID-19 vaccines regardless of whether they have full FDA approval

"Gov. Greg Abbott bans mandates on COVID-19 vaccines regardless of whether they have full FDA approval" was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday announced an executive order banning COVID-19 vaccine mandates regardless of a vaccine’s approval status with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

He also said he was adding the issue to the agenda for the current special session of the Texas Legislature.

The order comes two days after the FDA granted full approval to the Pfizer vaccine. That raised questions about the fate of a previous Abbott order that prohibited vaccine mandates, but only for those under emergency authorization.

Abbott’s latest order is simple, saying “no governmental entity can compel any individual to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.” The order preserves exceptions for places like nursing homes and state-supported living centers.

At the same time, Abbott asked lawmakers to consider legislation addressing whether state or local governments could issue vaccine mandates, and if so, which 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 statement. Lawmakers are currently in their second special session, and time is limited to make progress on the 17-item agenda that Abbott previously announced. The House finally restored quorum last week after Democrats staged a nearly six-week protest of the GOP’s elections bill.

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This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2021/08/25/texas-covid-19-vaccine-mandates-ban-greg-abbott/.

The Texas Tribune is a member-supported, nonpartisan newsroom informing and engaging Texans on state politics and policy. Learn more at texastribune.org.