With the expansion of the Priority Group A4 of the government’s vaccination program against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles assured the public that more vaccine doses will be arriving in the country to cover those on the priority list.
Nograles made the statement after the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases expanded the Priority Group A4 of the National COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Plan to include more workers from different industries.
In an interview with Super Radyo DZBB on Sunday morning, Nograles explained that the IATF, which he co-chairs, expanded the list even with the limited number of vaccine doses in the country because many vaccines will be arriving in the Philippines in the coming months.
“We are expecting more and more doses to come in in May. Ang May natin na doses ay mas marami kesa sa April. And then by June, mas marami ‘yan sa May. So hopefully, sinasabi naman natin na sa mid-year dito na darating karamihan ng mga in-order natin na vaccines (The vaccines arriving in May are more than what arrived in April. By June, there will be more vaccines coming on compared to what will arrive in May. So hopefully, we will have most the vaccines that we ordered by the middle of May),” he said.
“In preparation for the mid-year surge ng vaccines natin, at the very least ngayon pa lamang lahat ng mga ito ima-master list na natin (of our vaccines, at the very least everyone who is qualified in the priority groups will be included in the master list by now),” he added.
According to the Palace official, this will give the national government to come up with a plan, particularly on allocation, before the vaccines arrive.
“Lahat ng ito i-prepare na natin para kami sa national, medyo mapo-program na namin yung allocation per LGU (local government unit) para hindi tayo mabigla (We should be preparing all of these things now so that we in the national government can start programming the allocation per LGU so we won’t be taken by surprise),” he said.
Meanwhile, Nograles urged those who are qualified to be included in the A4 group to register with their respective LGUs preferably online or by going to their offices personally.
“Meron na silang mga website kung saan kayo magre-register. Pwedeng online registration o pwede po ninyong sadyain yung LGU ninyo (They have websites where you can register yourselves. You can register online or you can go to your LGUs directly),” he said.
“Tawagan ninyo kung kailangan pa ba (Call them if you need to go there), get the details of your LGU. Mas safe para sa atin mag-online registration (But it’s safer if we register online),” he added.
Based on IATF Resolution No. 110, 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).