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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued an executive order on Monday banning vaccine mandates by any business, government office or other entity in the state.
The Republican governor’s order says that “no entity” in the state can require that a person be vaccinated against COVID-19, whether an employee or a consumer, if the person objects “for any reason of personal conscience.” The order notes that any vaccine mandates by local officials “in response to the COVID-19 disaster” are overruled by this one.
Abbott himself is fully vaccinated, and after catching a “breakthrough” case of the virus in August, he experienced “no symptoms” — showing the vaccine effectively works to prevent severe illness or hospitalization.
Later that month, Abbott issued an order banning vaccine mandates by government entities in the state.
In Texas, only 52% of the population has been fully vaccinated. Even as coronavirus cases decline across the country, the state is still seeing an average of over 7,000 cases per day and over 200 people dying from COVID-19 per day.
Vaccinated people are at low risk of contracting the virus and at extremely low risk of hospitalization or death. The vast majority of cases, hospitalizations and deaths from the virus are among unvaccinated people.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.