Texas Gov. Greg Abbott fighting to ban Covid-19 vaccine mandates in tough legal battle

Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas, is fighting to prohibit government mandated Covid-19 vaccines in Texas.

Abbott signed an executive order last week prohibiting forced vaccination mandates. However, he is facing pushback from the San Antonio Independent School District, which is moving forward with forcing staff to get vaccinated, despite the governor’s executive order.

Abbott signed the executive order two days after the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was granted full approval by the FDA. The order states that “no governmental entity can compel any individual to receive a Covid-19 vaccine.” Exceptions to the order are places such as nursing homes, state-sponsored living centers, assisting living centers, and long-term care facilities.

A spokesperson for Abbott, Renae Eze, announced that private businesses have the option of executing mandatory vaccinations for employees. “Private businesses don’t need government running their business,” said Eze.

The Texas governor has also banned government-issued mask mandates from the state of Texas. Private businesses are prohibited from requiring vaccine passports for customers.

However, the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) refuses to comply with Abbott’s executive order. The school argued that nearly a hundred years ago the U.S. Supreme Court upheld San Antonio’s authority to require smallpox vaccinations in both public and private schools. 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the district, arguing that the state also has the power to take away that authorization.

Abbott has announced that he would ask the state legislature to fix this provision.

Joe Biden has since called on private businesses to force employees to become vaccinated.

“Today, I’m calling on more companies in the private sector to step up with vaccine requirements that will reach millions more people,” said Biden. “Require it. Do what I did last month. Require your employees to get vaccinated or face strict requirements.”

Over 46 percent of Texans have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

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