Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said they were waiting for local government units (LGUs) to submit to the national government the list of people qualified to receive the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine under the newly updated Priority Group A4.
Nogales made the statement after the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, which he co-chairs, updated the Priority Group A4 of the National COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Plan to include more workers from different industries including the media, food, beverage, pharmaceutical, and transportation.
In a radio interview on Sunday morning, Nograles said they were waiting for LGUs to submit the master list of the people qualified in the A4 priority group so the government can make the appropriate allocations.
“Mabuti nang na-define na at na-finalize na kung sino yung A4 para yung mga LGUs, pwede na sila mag-submit ng master list (It’s good that we have defined and finalized the groups of people under the A4 group so LGUs can now submit the master list),” he told Super Radyo DZBB.
“Para malaman po namin kung sino yung ano at ilan yung ibibigay natin. Paano natin malalaman yung allocation. Everything is based doon sa allocation na ibibigay sa atin ng LGUs (It’s so we can find out who are these people and how many doses should we allocate. Everything will be based on what the LGUs will give us),” he added.
- The following are now part of the vaccination Priority Group A4:
- Commuter transport (land, air, and sea), including logistics
- Public and private wet and dry market vendors
- Frontline workers in groceries, supermarkets, delivery services
- Workers in manufacturing for food, beverage, medical and pharmaceutical products
- Frontline workers in food retail, including food service delivery
- Frontline workers in private and government financial services
- Frontline workers in hotels and accommodation establishment
- Priests, rabbis, imams, and other religious leaders
- Security guards/ personnel assigned in offices, agencies, and organizations identified in the list of priority industries/sectors
- Frontline workers in private and government news media
- Customer-facing personnel of telecoms, cable and internet service providers, electricity distribution and water distribution utilities
- Frontline personnel in basic education and higher education institutions and agencies
- Overseas Filipino workers, including those scheduled for deployment within two months
- Frontline workers in law/justice, security, and social protection sectors
- Frontline government workers engaged in the operations of the government transport system, quarantine inspection
- Worker safety inspection and other COVID-19 response activities
- Frontline government workers in charge of tax collection, assessment of businesses for incentives, election, national ID, data collection personnel
- Diplomatic community and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) personnel in consular operations
- Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) personnel in charge of monitoring government infrastructure projects
Originally, the Priority Group A4 was only composed of frontline personnel in essential sectors, including uniformed personnel and other sectors identified as essential during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
In his radio interview, Nograles said it was important to remember that the frontline workers in the industries recently categorized as A4 will be the ones to receive the vaccine.
“Ang konteksto na dapat lagi nating tatandaan, kung sino yung exposed, kung sino yung humaharap sa publiko, hindi naka-work-from-home. Yung exposed talaga (What we should remember is who are the people who are exposed, the people who are facing the public, and not those working from home. The ones who are exposed),” he said.
The government rolled out its vaccination program on March 1 following the arrival of 600,000 doses of Sinovac’s CoronaVac donated by the Chinese government.
The top priority in the vaccination program was healthcare workers in the A1 group. Next were senior citizens in the A2 group, followed by persons with comorbidities in the A3 group.
Last month, the government recently approved the simultaneous implementation of the vaccination program on the A1 group and A2 and A3 for the quick substitution list. The IATF said it was considering inoculating the Priority Group A4.