Texas vaccine passport ban: read Governor Abbott’s executive order

The ordinance states that any private entity receiving government funds in any way can also not require a vaccination passport.

AUSTIN, Texas – Government agencies and political subdivisions in Texas will not be allowed to create a so-called “vaccine passport” requirement, according to a new executive order filed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Note: The video for this story is from a March 30 broadcast on a federal vaccination passport system that is in the works

The order, dated April 5, “also prohibits organizations receiving public funds from requiring consumers to provide documents on immunization status in order to receive a service or enter any location.”

He goes on to say: “State agencies and political subdivisions shall not adopt or enforce any order, ordinance, policy, regulation, rule or similar measure which obliges an individual to provide, as a condition or to receive a service or to enter a location, documents requiring the individual’s immunization status for any COVID-19 vaccine administered under an emergency clearance. “

According to the state’s website, a “political subdivision” may include a county, municipality, special district, school district, college district, housing authority or other political subdivision of that state or any other state.

“Every day, Texans are returning to normal life as more people receive the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. But, as I have always said, these vaccines are always voluntary and never forced ”, Governor Abbott said in a press release Tuesday morning. “The government should not require any Texan to present proof of vaccination and reveal private health information just to go about its day-to-day business. This is why I issued an executive order that bans mandated vaccine passports. by the government in Texas. We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health – and we will do so without infringing on the personal freedoms of Texans. “

You can read Abbott’s order here as a PDF.

Vaccine passports are not new. They usually refer to a traveler’s vaccination and health records. Before COVID-19, some countries already required vaccination records, such as yellow fever. More recently, there have been discussions all over the country and around the world about countries, companies, etc. that would or would not authorize someone based on their coronavirus vaccination status.

Private companies and entities may require a vaccination passport – but there is a catch

Abbott’s ordinance primarily covers government agencies in Texas, but it also states that “any public or private entity that receives or will receive public funds” also cannot require a passport. The ordinance states that this includes grants, contracts, loans or other forms of taxpayer money going to that entity.

Watch Governor Abbott’s Remarks on the Vaccine Passport Order

Answer your questions about vaccine passports and the governor’s decree

The governor’s announcement has many of you asking questions.

Ahmed on Facebook said: “We require proof of vaccination so that children can go to school. What is the difference?”

First of all, keep in mind that the COVID-19 vaccine is not licensed for those under the age of 16, so school-aged children cannot yet be vaccinated unless they are part of it. of a clinical trial. But that could change by the next school year.

KHOU11 Legal analyst Carmen Roe says Texas is a voluntary vaccination state, this is true for all vaccines. Which means in Texas any parent can file an affidavit that says “for reasons of conscience or religion,” they don’t want their child to be immunized.

The governor’s decree covers government entities, so another viewer wants to know if companies can require proof of vaccination.

KHOU11 legal analyst Carmen Roe says yes, but they require exemptions under federal and state laws for religious or medical reasons. Their failure to do so puts them at risk of prosecution for unlawfully firing someone.

Abbott isn’t the only leader to push back vaccine passports

Tennessee heads of state are set to introduce a bill banning “vaccine passports.” Republicans say it is a form of government overtaking. Other states and companies are considering creating “vaccine passports” as proof of dose identification. The bill begins in committee Tuesday according to Representative Jason Zachary.

Last week, the governor of Florida also issued an order regarding vaccine passports. Gov. Ron DeSantis started the week by announcing that his state would not be implementing a vaccine passport system, and on Friday he made it official with an executive order. The ordinance states that vaccine passports “will reduce individual liberty and interfere with patient privacy,” and are therefore prohibited from distribution. He goes on to say that vaccine passports would create two classes of citizens based on vaccinations for daily activities such as eating out or going to the movies. The Governor’s Order applies to all government agencies and entities, but it does not end there. It also says businesses will not be allowed to require proof of vaccination from customers to enter or receive service. However, COVID-19 tests can still take place as long as they follow the parameters of the law.

Meanwhile, some other states and the federal government would implement and promote a vaccine passport system. Read more about it here.

WBIR and WTSP contributed to this story

Also watch: No, a vaccination passport does not violate HIPAA

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