In an interview with Texas Scorecard during the 2022 Republican Party of Texas Convention last week, Texans for Vaccine Choice director Rebecca Hardy says people are still being wrongfully terminated for failing to receive a COVID vaccine.

Last year, the Texas Legislature passed a bill preventing companies from discriminating against unvaccinated customers. The legislation, however, did not prevent companies from forcing their employees to either receive the vaccine or face termination.

Therefore, in August 2021, Gov. Greg Abbott signed an executive order prohibiting public officials and private employers from mandating that employees receive the COVID vaccine in the state of Texas. Though the order says employers cannot fire employees who refuse to get the COVID vaccine for personal, medical, or religious reasons, officials and employers have continued to disregard the order.

Hardy explained that people are still losing their jobs or having difficulty finding employment because they exercised their medical freedom.

“All Texans have just lived through two years of the most egregious overreach when it comes to informed consent and vaccine choice,” said Hardy. “Even today, there are people still losing their jobs over the vaccine mandates.”

And, amid claims that the vaccines do not perform their intended purpose of preventing infection and transmission of COVID, Hardy argued that people should be able to choose whether or not something is injected into their body.

“It is now well known that [the vaccines] are not doing much to prevent infection or transmission. And yet, we are still seeing employers implement these non-scientific policies, policies that infringe people’s right to their livelihood and their religious expression,” she explained.

Hardy also noted that public officials have been largely silent on the issue, with Gov. Abbott refusing to call a special legislative session to sign the executive order into permanent law.

“It’s really frustrating to see elected officials at all levels, except for a few, remain quiet on [the issue].”

In response to this silence, Hardy and others at Texans for Vaccine Choice have created a vaccine protection pledge that they encourage office-holders, and candidates for office, to sign.

Juliana Berg

Juliana is a summer fellow for Texas Scorecard. She is studying political science and philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. She enjoys learning about the philosophies that shape America.


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