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Abbott maintains that government entities can't require individuals to get any COVID-19 vaccines under new executive order

A previous order from Gov. Greg Abbott said no government entity could require an individual to receive a COVID-19 vaccine under emergency use authorization.

AUSTIN, Texas — A new executive order from Gov. Greg Abbott says no government entity can “compel any individual” to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

The order, GA-39, also says any entity that is receiving or will receive public funds, state agencies and political subdivisions cannot require people to provide COVID-19 vaccine proof to enter or receive services. Nursing homes, State-supported living centers, assisted living facilities and long-term care facilities are exempt from the new order.

Abbott previously issued another executive order in July stating that no government entity could require an individual to receive COVID-19 vaccine under emergency use authorization. And, at the time, the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shots all were.

However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave full approval to Pfizer’s vaccine on Monday. Moderna completed its request for FDA approval for its coronavirus vaccine Wednesday.  

Abbott also announced Wednesday that he added whether or not state and local government can mandate COVID-19 vaccines and what exemptions should apply if so to the Texas Legislature’s second special session agenda.

“Vaccine requirements and exemption have historically been determined by the legislature, and their involvement is particularly important to avoid a patchwork of vaccine mandates across Texas,” Abbott said in a press release.

The City of Austin told KVUE that it hasn't decided on whether it will require staff to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. Austin ISD's superintendent, Dr. Stephanie Elizalde, said she will likely require teachers and staff in the district to get vaccinated.

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