Belatedly included in the priority list for coronavirus vaccines, which became legally available in the Philippines in March, economic frontliners finally started receiving the shots on Monday, June 7.
The vaccination of the A4 priority group kicked off in Pasay City with the “symbolic” inoculation of some 50 workers, including security guards, customer assistants, Grab and Angkas delivery drivers, waiters, media, and government workers, among others.
The vaccination of the group will make for the largest sector to be covered in the country’s vaccine drive so far. There are about 35 million workers estimated to be part of the A4 COVID-19 vaccine priority group.
Based on the vaccination guidelines of the Department of Health (DOH), the distribution and administration of vaccines for the A4 group will be done in a two-phase approach as vaccine supplies remain limited.
Phase 1 will cover workers in high-risk areas prone to a resurgence of coronavirus cases, namely NCR+ 8. The cluster includes Metro Manila, Pampanga, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao.
Phase 2 covers Filipino workers in other areas of the country.
Here’s what you need to know about vaccinations for the A4 group:
“Economic frontliners” include workers from the public and private sector required to be physically present in their workplaces. They also include informal sector workers, self-employed individuals who need to work outside their homes, individuals working in private households, and employees in government agencies, including government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) and local governments.
The recovery cluster of the government’s coronavirus task force laid out two main criteria for determining if a worker falls under the A4 category:
The vaccination of workers in the A4 priority group will be done simultaneously with the ongoing vaccination of A1 to A3 groups: health workers, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities.
While vaccine supplies remain limited, the DOH urged local governments and companies to prioritize older workers to receive the shot. Health officials said this would ensure that the use of scarce supply would remain in line with prioritizing individuals more vulnerable to developing severe COVID-19.
The DOH said that, in situations where there is a limited supply of COVID- 19 vaccines, “priority may be given to eligible Priority Group A4 workers within 40-59 years old, then to those 18-39 years old.”
Local government units (LGUs), along with establishments, agencies, or organizations are the groups responsible for handling the vaccination of economic frontliners.
Companies and local officials share the following responsibilities:
Aside from these, LGUs and companies each have the following responsibilities:
Establishments, agencies, or organizations
Read the relevant document below (along with a sample certification of eligibility on the last page):
Read Rappler's series of explainers on the Duterte government's vaccine program below: