200703 Texas
File picture: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Image Credit: AP

Los Angeles: Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order on Monday barring all COVID vaccine mandates in the state by any entity, including private businesses.

Abbott’s move sets him up for a clash with US President Joe Biden, a Democrat who last month called on US employers to require their workers to be vaccinated. Abbott is a Republican.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defence against the virus, but should remain voluntary and never forced,” Abbott said in a written statement announcing his executive order.

Biden’s mandate announcement in September came as his administration struggles to control the pandemic, which has killed more than 700,000 Americans. A large swath of the nation’s population have refused to get the jab.