Saturday, May 25, 2024

Abbott bans so-called ‘vaccine passports’

Gov. Greg Abbott’s order is consistent with his messaging on vaccinations. He was vaccinated live on TV but also stresses that vaccines are “always voluntary” in his public statements. Credit: Carly May for The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that in an executive order, he has banned state agencies, political subdivisions and organizations receiving public funds from creating “vaccine passports” or otherwise requiring someone to provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccine in order to receive services.

“Texans are returning to normal life as more people get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. But as I’ve said all along, these vaccines are always voluntary and never forced,” Abbott said in a video announcing the executive order. “Government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal health information just to go about their daily lives. That is why I have issued an executive order that prohibits government-mandated vaccine passports in Texas. We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health — and we will do so without treading on Texans’ personal freedoms.”

Vaccine credentials, also known as vaccine passports, are being developed as a way to quickly prove that someone has been vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the Texas Tribune. Republicans largely oppose them, saying they infringe on individual freedoms and privacy, while supports say they can help people confidently return to activities and ensure safety at workplaces. Businesses can require their employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine, according to guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

State Rep. Tan Parker, R-Flower Mound, showed support for the executive order.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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