In a special session, Texas senators introduced legislation prohibiting private employers from implementing COVID-19 vaccine mandates. The Senate passed the bill, and it is now under review by the House Committee. Politicians in support of the bill stated it would return medical freedom to Texans. Critics of the bill stated it violates employers’ rights and felt the bill restricted their ability to protect staff. Social media posts are expressing support for the bill. One widely shared post in favor said the bill should prohibit mandates for all vaccines, not just COVID-19 vaccines.
Risk level: Medium
Recommendation: Social media users and government officials who advocate against vaccine mandates may present a narrative that vaccine mandates are motivated by authoritarianism rather than public health concerns. This may promote distrust in government and public health officials. While questions about vaccine mandates may not arise in a clinical setting, it is recommended healthcare providers in Texas be prepared for questions about the safety and efficacy of vaccines.