COVID-19 vaccine A4 priority group simplified; more placed in A1 cluster

Published May 28, 2021, 12:44 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

The government’s pandemic task force has approved the recommendation refining the list of people belonging to the A4 Priority Group of the country’s vaccination program against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

A health worker prepares to administer a coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination site in Manila on May 14, 2021. (Ali Vicoy/ Manila Bulletin)

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the statement as the government aims to start vaccinating those belonging to groups A4 and A5 next month.

In his announcement over State-run PTV-4 on Friday, May 28, Roque said the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases approved the recommendation of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 on Thursday.

Those eligible under this category now include the following:

  • Private sector workers required to be physically present at their designated workplace outside their residences
  • Employees in government agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) and local government units (LGUs)
  • Informal sector workers and self-employed who may be required to work outside their residences, and those working in private households

Based on IATF Resolution No. 117, the body likewise approved the initial vaccine deployment for Priority Group A4 workers in the National Capital Region (NCR), Bulacan, Pampanga, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao.

More under A1 group

Meanwhile, outbound overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) for deployment within the next four months from the intended date of vaccination have been re-categorized to Priority Group A1.

Immediate family members of healthcare workers are now also under Priority Group A1 once vaccine supply becomes available.

Meanwhile, LGUs are tasked to continuously prioritize A1, A2, and A3 Priority Groups by establishing special lanes and/or vaccination centers for health frontliners, senior citizens, and other vulnerable sectors of the population.

For Priority Group A4, LGUs may give preference for persons aged 40 to 59 years old over 18 to 39 years old.

LGUs are also mandated to adopt and utilize the Department of Information and Communications Technology Vaccine Administration System (D-VAS) to be done in phases as may be determined by the DICT, without prejudice to the use of the LGU’s own local database system as a supplementary system.

The D-VAS is part of the Vaccine Information Management System (VIMS) developed by DICT in support of the national immunization program of the government. The VIMS is composed of the VIMS – Immunization Registry for master listing and pre-registration for vaccination and the D-VAS for the directory of vaccine recipients.

The government rolled out its vaccination program against COVID-19 on March 1 this year. To date, the country has administered 4,495,375 doses of COVID-19 vaccines. A total of 1,029,061 individuals have been fully vaccinated.