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As more coronavirus vaccines are expected to arrive in the Philippines, the government is eyeing to soon start the vaccination of economic frontliners in essential services, the fourth priority group.
Socioeconomic Planning Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon said on Monday, April 12, that vaccination of the A4 group could start by May at the earliest. But it may also be moved to as late as June or July, depending on the erratic global supply and the availability of vaccines in the Philippines.
The National Economic and Development Authority, which leads the Duterte government’s coronavirus recovery cluster, drafted a list of workers who will be included in the A4 group.
These include workers ensuring security as well as consumer and worker safety, and those working in priority government projects, according to Edillon.
They are involved in delivery of services identified as essential by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).
Edillon added that economic frontliners are those considered to have high levels of exposure to the public and who cannot easily maintain a bubble or fixed group of people to have limited interactions with.
See the complete list below.
- A4.1: Commuter transport (land, air, and sea), including logistics
- A4.2: Frontline government workers in justice, security, transport, and social protection sectors
- Edillon said the group includes those working in jails, police officers, and social workers who are in crisis intervention units
- A4.3: Public and private wet and dry market vendors; frontline workers in groceries and supermarkets; delivery services
- A4.4: Workers in manufacturing for food, beverage, medical, and pharmaceutical products
- A4.5: Frontline workers in food retail, including food service delivery
- A4.6: Frontline government workers
- This includes safety inspectors, Philippine Statistics Authority field enumerators, tax clearance workers
- A4.7: Frontline workers in financial services
- Those in banks, remittance centers
- A4.8: Teaching and related personnel in medical and allied medical courses of higher education institutions, including personnel handling laboratories
- A4.9: Frontline workers in hotels and accommodation
- A4.10: Priests, pastors, religious leaders regardless of denomination
- A4.11: Construction workers in government infrastructure projects
- A4.12: Security guards or personnel assigned in the establishments, offices, agencies, and organizations identified in these priority sectors
- A4.13: Overseas Filipino workers not classified above, and scheduled for deployment within two months
In a press briefing on Monday, Edillon said the list of 13 sectors had been presented to the IATF and National Immunization Technical Advisory Group, and that it had been approved by the IATF.
Asked if media personnel who likewise have high levels of exposure to the public would be included in the priority group, Edillon said the decision would be up to the government’s coronavirus task force.
If media would not be part of A4, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said they would be part of the B classification, or the government’s second list of groups to vaccinate.
“This will be discussed in the IATF and [if] resolved na isasali (that they will be part), this will be something that we will need to change and include in this framework,” Vergeire added.
What will be needed
Edillon said workers who will be vaccinated must present a certificate of eligibility from their employers proving they are frontliners of their respective establishments.
The certificate can be signed by any one of the following:
- Owner of establishment
- Highest ranking personnel of the agency or organization with office located in the local government unit
- Head of the human resources unit
Businesses and agencies with workers part of the A4 group were also urged to come up with a system to schedule the vaccination, taking into account possible time off from work for the actual vaccination and if there would be any side effects.
Edillon said businesses and agencies are also “encouraged” to provide transportation to facilitate the vaccination of their workers and to closely coordinate with their respective local governments for schedules.
The Department of Health will come up with final guidelines on the implementation of vaccination for the A4 group. – Rappler.com