Governor Greg Abbott continues to encourage Texans to be vaccinated against COVID-19, but has come out against the idea of a "vaccine passport" being necessary to receive service at state run or funded facilities.

Abbott passed executive order GA-35 Monday afternoon, which prohibits state funded agencies or political subdivisions in Texas from creating any sort of "vaccine passport" requirement to enter a state facility or receive any services there.

GA-35 also prohibits any public or private entity that receives or will receive public funds through grants, contracts, loans, or any other taxpayer money from requiring citizens show proof of having been vaccinated in order to enter or be served.

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However, under GA-35, nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, and long-term care facilities can still require proof of a resident's vaccine status.

Abbott said GA-35 is meant to ensure that no Texan is being compelled by the state to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

"Everyday, Texans are returning to normal life as more people get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine," Abbott stated Tuesday. "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.

'We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health, and we will do so without treading on Texans' personal freedoms," Abbott added.

You can read the full text of executive order GA-35 here.

The latest numbers available Tuesday morning from Texas Health and Human Services shows 12,529,155 COVID-19 vaccine doses having been administered in Texas so far. Of those, 8,188,501 had received at least one dose, while 4,668,212 were fully vaccinated.

I'll be getting my second dose of the Moderna vaccine today. Other than my usual problem of being grossed out by needles, I haven't had any issues. My mother, who suffers from a chronic respiratory illness and uses an oxygen concentrator, has been fully vaccinated and tells me she didn't experience any side effects.

While our experiences has been positive and I would encourage everyone who can to get to get vaccinated, you should talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns. That's good advice no matter what sort of vaccine you're receiving.

Hopefully we're getting closer to putting this pandemic in the rearview mirror and flipping it the bird.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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