Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the vaccination of people in Priority Group A4 of the National COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Plan may start in the middle of May.
Nograles made the statement after the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, which he co-chairs, updated the A4 group to include more workers from different essential industries including the media, food, beverage, pharmaceutical, and transportation.
In an interview with ANC, Nograles said the vaccination of the priority group may start as early as next month since more coronavirus vaccines are expected to arrive in the country.
“Siguro mga mid-May up to June, doon na po magkakaroon ng bulk ng ating vaccine na ine-expect (Maybe by mid-May to June we will receive the bulk of the vaccines we expect) for Quarter 2 then for Quarter 3,” he said on Monday.
“Obviously, mas marami pang bakuna ang makukuha natin so probably mga mid-May to June, pupuwede na po yung A4 (Obviously, we will be getting more vaccines so we can start vaccinating the A4 group probably by mid-May to June),” 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 is composed of frontline personnel in essential sectors including uniformed personnel and other sectors identified as essential during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
In an interview with Super Radyo DZBB on Sunday, Nograles urged local government units (LGUs) to submit the list of people qualified to receive the vaccine under the A4 priority group so the national government can make preparations.
“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 said.
The government rolled out its vaccination program on March 1. The top priority in the vaccination program is healthcare workers in the A1 group. Next are senior citizens in the A2 group, followed by persons with comorbidities in the A3 group.