Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order does not make exceptions for hospitals, many of which require healthcare workers to be vaccinated.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective and our best defense against the virus, but it should be voluntary and never forced,” Mr Abbott said in a news release on Monday.
So far, elected officials in Texas have banned government entities from requiring vaccines and prohibited places of public housing from requiring their customers’ vaccines, but allowed private businesses to determine whether Need to vaccinate their employees.
Mr Abbott’s order is no exception for hospitals and healthcare facilities, many of which require vaccines for COVID-19, flu and other communicable diseases because patients may be immunocompromised or too young to be vaccinated . His order applies only to the COVID-19 shot, which allows entities to require vaccines for other diseases.
The ability of health facilities to require COVID-19 vaccines was first tested in court when some employees of the Houston Methodist hospital system sued to block the hospital from requiring them to receive vaccines. A judge dismissed the lawsuit, writing that the hospital’s interest in providing safe medical care to its patients outweighed the vaccine priorities of its staff. A spokesman for the hospital system, which employs more than 26,000 people, said Monday evening that they were only looking at the order and did not yet know what effect it would have.
In his executive order, Mr Abbott said his mandate came in response to the federal government pushing large businesses to require vaccines for employees.
“The Biden administration is now intimidating several private entities to enforce the COVID-19 vaccine mandate,” the order said.
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