Texas Governor Greg Abbott has banned COVID-19 vaccines in his state, despite the recent Food and Drug Administration approval of the Pfizer vaccine. More than that, Abbot recently recovered from COVID-19, acknowledging the role of the vaccine in diminishing the symptoms to a “brief & mild” infection. During spring Gov. Abbott has also banned mask mandates from all government entities such as school districts. While most Republican governors have opposed the vaccine mandates, Abbott has been especially vocal on this issue.
“No governmental entity can compel any individual to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Thereby suspend Section 81.082(f) l(1) of the Texas Health and Safety Code and any other relevant statutes to the extent necessary to ensure that no governmental entity can compel any individual to receive a COVID-19 vaccine,” reads the executive order. The order also lists a series of exceptions from the ban, including care facilities such as nursing homes.
The Legislature was also encouraged to determine whether vaccines can be mandates by state or local entities. “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 announced in an official statement.
Only three days ago, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration, becoming the first COVID-19 vaccine approved by the FDA. “The FDA’s approval of this vaccine is a milestone as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. While this and other vaccines have met the FDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorization, as the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product,” declared Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock.