Gov. Greg Abbott signs executive order prohibiting vaccine passports in Texas
( MSN )
As Texans continue to get vaccinated, Gov. Greg Abbott has signed an executive order banning government-mandated vaccine passports in the state.
The executive order says that any state agencies or entities that receive public funds cannot require a person to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or deny a person entry or services if they are not vaccinated or do not provide proof.
"Those shots help slow the spread of COVID-19, reduce hospitalizations and reduce fatalities," Abbott said in a video statement. "But, as I have said all along, these vaccines are always voluntary and never forced. Government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives."
The Texas governor isn't the first to prohibit vaccine passports. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also issued an executive order prohibiting businesses from requiring vaccine documentation on April 2.
While there has been discussion about a federally created and mandated vaccine passport, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the federal government won't require vaccine documentation for travel or businesses, CBS News' Jason Silverstein reports.
"You could foresee how an independent entity might say, 'Well, we can't be dealing with you unless we know you're vaccinated,'" Fauci said in an appearance on the Politico Dispatch podcast. "But it's not going to be mandated from the federal government."
Texas has administered more than 12.5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as of April 5, according to Houston Chronicle data.
Despite widespread encouragement to get vaccinated from doctors and health officials, white Republicans are the most hesitant to receive the vaccine in Texas, the Texas Tribune's Reese Oxner reports. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell specifically urged Republican men to get the vaccine.
"I can say as a Republican man, as soon as it was my turn, I took the vaccine. I would encourage all Republican men to do that," McConnell said on Monday, CNN's Ali Zaslav reports.