Texas Governor Greg Abbott has given an executive order that stops entities in his state from forcing people to get the COVID-19 vaccination if they object to vaccination on the ground of conscience, religion or medical reasons.
“No person or group in Texas can force a COVID-19 vaccine by any person, including an employee or a customer, who objects to this vaccination for any reason of conscience, based on religion, or for medical reasons, including previous recovery from covid,” the order says.
“The maximum fine possible under Section 418.173 of the Texas Code and the emergency management plan should apply to any ‘failure to adhere to this executive order. Jail time is not an available penalty for breaking this executive order,” the order says.
The Republican governor’s move comes as the Joe Biden White House plans to give a rule requiring employers with over 99 employees to make sure that workers are vaccinated or they give a weekly negative test if they are not vaccinated.
The governor wants state lawmakers to accept legislation along the same lines as this order.
“Gov. Abbott also sent a letter to the Chief Clerk of the House and Sec. of Senate adding this topic as an item to the Third Special Session. His executive order will be rescinded upon the creation and passing of such a law,” according to a press release. The Texas special session ends on October 19.
Abbott said that vaccination should always be voluntary instead of compulsory.
“The covid vaccine is safe and our best weapon against the virus, but should be voluntary and never be forced,” Abbott said in a comment.
He had already prohibited mandates by local and state government entities, according to the AP.
So far 62.73% of the Texas population ages 12 and older were fully vaccinated, while 72.54% has gotten at least one dose, according to the state’s information.
Many people are skeptical of the vaccine’s side effects given the new technology behind such vaccines. Also drawing skepticism is the fact that Americans are not allowed to get the Russian “Sputnik” vaccine which is one popular vaccine worldwide that is not based on mRNA technology.
Author: Scott Dowdy