On Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott issued yet another executive order prohibiting vaccine mandates in the state.
This is the governor’s fourth executive order that prohibits government entities and others from issuing a vaccine mandate. In August, Abbott moved to ban all COVID-19 vaccine mandates despite being recently approved by the FDA.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus, but should remain voluntary and never forced,” Abbott said in a press release announcing the executive order.
In the executive order, the governor complained about the Biden Administration’s “federal overreach.” In September, Biden issued a nationwide vaccine mandate for all businesses with more than 100 workers.
It is a notable contrast for Abbott, who is now attempting to force private business not to enact vaccine mandates.
The governor said he planned to add the issue of vaccine mandates to the agenda of the third special session, which is still currently going on and mainly focused on redistricting.
As of Saturday, at least 60 percent of Texas’ population has received at least one dose of a vaccine. Texas continues to lag behind other states when it comes to doses administered, currently ranking 43 among the 50 states.
More than 66,000 people have tested positive for the virus and died, according to data compiled by The Texas Tribune.