UT Austin requiring federal contractors to get COVID-19 vaccine

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — The University of Texas at Austin is requiring federal contractors to get the COVID-19 vaccine — a decision that is at odds with Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent ban on vaccine mandates.

UT said it comes in response to President Joe Biden’s executive order in September requiring federal employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

UT Professor and Policy Expert Eric McDaniel believes Biden’s mandate is here to stay unless a court can prove it’s not necessary.

“I think the biggest one that people are fighting back against is this idea of necessity. ‘Is the coronavirus that big of a problem or that big of a threat that this should be mandated?’” McDaniel said. “That’s where I think they’re going to get a lot of pushback.”

Abbott’s office sent KXAN a statement calling the mandate a constitutional overstep and vowed to work with the state attorney general to fight the order. You can read the full statement below.

“Governor Abbott continues hearing from countless Texans who are worried about losing their jobs because of this federal overreach. With both OSHA and CMS’s vaccine mandates recently halted in Texas, it’s clear that the courts agree that the Biden Administration is overstepping their constitutional authority and attempting to trample Americans’ right to choose for themselves whether to get vaccinated. Having spent his entire time in office fighting for the rights and freedoms of all Texans, the Governor will not abandon Texans worried about putting food on the table, and our office is working with the Office of the Attorney General to continue that fight.”

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