Texas Governor Bans Vaccine Mandates

Texas governor, Greg Abbott, has signed another controversial executive order – this time stopping organisations from requiring Covid-19 vaccines for its staff.

Governor Abbott on Monday signed an executive order to prohibit any organisation, including private business, from enforcing a Covid-19 vaccine mandate on its workers.

It comes after the Biden administration prepares to issue federal vaccine rules in the US, requiring employers with more than 100 workers to be vaccinated or test weekly for the coronavirus.

Image credit: World Health Organisation

No mandates

Already many organisations in the United States and elsewhere are requiring staff to be vaccinated if they want to return to the office.

This includes the tech industry.

In July for example, Google and Facebook became the first two tech giants to announce they will require their staff to be vaccinated, when they return to offices or campuses.

Amazon staff will be required to wear masks inside the office unless they can shown proof they are vaccinated when they return to the office in 2022.

Other major US companies such as Texas-based American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, have said they would abide by the federal mandate.

But this has prompted Governor Abbott to respond with a ban against vaccine mandates, although this is likely to be overturned when the federal law comes into force.

“No entity in Texas can compel receipt of a Covid-19 vaccine by any individual, including an employee or a consumer, who objects to such vaccination for any reason of personal conscience, based on a religious belief, or for medical reasons, including prior recovery from Covid-19,” Abbott wrote in his order.

Abbott it should be noted has been vaccinated, and he also later tested positive for Covid-19 after appearing unmasked at public events the day before he announced his infection.

He said in his order that “vaccines are strongly encouraged for those eligible to receive one, but must always be voluntary for Texans”.

Controversial figure

This is not the first time that the Republican Texas governor has sought to enact controversial local laws.

Earlier this year he banned women in Texas from seeking an abortion after six weeks into a pregnancy.

This is despite the fact that many women don’t even know they are pregnant at six weeks, and he made no allowance for pregnancies from rape or incest.

When questioned about this by journalists, he responded that rape was wrong and he would seek to end rape altogether.

His law even allowed private citizens to file lawsuits against alleged violators, and if the legal action is successful, violators would be forced to pay the private citizen at least $10,000.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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