"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," Abbott said in a video recording announcing the orders.
The new orders also prohibit any organization receiving public funds from requiring consumers to provide proof of vaccination to enter a place or receive service. The orders do not apply to nursing homes, state-supported living centers, assisted-living facilities or long-term care facilities.
As of April 6, more than 4.6 million Texans are fully vaccinated, including 20.8% of the state's population over age 16, and 36.5% of Texans over age 16 have received at least one vaccine dose.
Vaccine manufacturer Pfizer announced results of a trial March 31 that showed its vaccine had 100% efficacy in children ages 12-15. The drug company plans to amend the emergency use authorization it was issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in order to expand distribution of the vaccine to younger individuals.