Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra on Friday, April 16, assured that persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) will get their vaccinations against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Guevarra made the assurance even if the PDLs have not been included by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) in the A4 group (priority) of vaccine recipients.
“The IATF approved yesterday (April 15) the final list of sub-categories under vaccine priority A4, which pertain to all frontliners other than health workers,” he said.
“PDLs have not been included, as they are not frontliners,” he explained.
But, he said, “the Department of Justice (DOJ) will make sure that PDLs will also be vaccinated like everyone else, as they are highly vulnerable to transmission of the COVID-19 virus due to lack of space” in prison facilities.
Early on April 16, Kapatid — political prisoners rights group – has urged the government “to release a clear schedule for the vaccination of all prisoners, including the 704 political prisoners, in the national deployment plan for COVID-19 vaccines because the congested prison system places them at significant higher risk for the disease.”