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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaking in Austin in May 2020. Photo: Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool/Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed an executive order on Tuesday that bans state government and some private business from requiring coronavirus vaccine passports to access services.

Why it matters: Texas is the latest state to prohibit coronavirus immunization credentials as Republican governors rally against the proof of vaccination in the name of personal freedom and privacy. Such records could possibly speed international travel and economic reopening plans.

Context: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis banned the use of immunization credentials last week, saying they "would create two classes of citizens based on vaccination."

The Texas order prevents state agencies and political subdivisions, as well as public and private organizations that receive public funding in the state from requiring people to show they've been inoculated against the virus to receive services.

  • The order also supersedes any conflicting local executive orders.

What they're saying: "Everyday, Texans are returning to normal life as more people get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine," Abbott said in a statement announcing the order.

  • "But, as I've 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 governor added.

The big picture: NIAID director Anthony Fauci said Monday that the federal government will not mandate the use of vaccine passports for travelers or businesses post-pandemic.

  • Yes, but: The Biden administration had been working with private companies to create immunization credentials, and many businesses, including some in Florida, have said they'll require proof of vaccination as part of reopening, according to the Washington Post.

Go deeper

Apr 6, 2021 - Health

Health industry grapples with COVID vaccine mandates

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As coronavirus vaccines become less scarce, employers such as nursing homes and hospitals are debating whether to require their employees to be vaccinated, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Health care workers often interact with the members of society most vulnerable to severe coronavirus infections, making a particularly strong case for vaccine mandates.

Biden sets new April 19 deadline for all adults to be eligible for vaccine

President Biden. Photo: Michael Reynolds/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden will announce Tuesday that he is moving up the deadline for states to make all American adults eligible for a coronavirus vaccine to April 19, CNN first reported and Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: The announcement means states will be pressured to make all Americans 16 years and older eligible for the vaccine two weeks earlier than the original May 1 deadline, reflecting a growing confidence in the U.S. vaccination campaign.

Updated Sep 17, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Key FDA committee takes on the big booster question — Los Angeles County to require vaccination proof at indoor bars — France suspends 3,000 unvaccinated health workers without pay.
  2. Health: Worsening crisis at Rikers Island jail spurs call for action — 1 in 500 Americans has died — Cases are falling, but deaths are rising.
  3. Politics: White House invites call with Nicki Minaj to discuss vaccine — Gottlieb says CDC hampered U.S. response — 26 states have limited state or local officials' public health powers.
  4. Education: Denver looks to students to close Latino vaccination gap — Federal judge temporarily blocks Iowa's ban on mask mandates in schools — Massachusetts activates National Guard to help with school transportation.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.