The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has approved the list of sectors, which include commuter transport and logistics, under the fourth priority group of the government’s national vaccination program
Workers in sectors under category A4 are seen as having “high levels of interaction with or exposure to the public”
Possible vaccination schedule for those under A4 is May or June
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has approved the list of sectors, which include commuter transport and logistics, under the fourth priority group of the government’s national vaccination program.
IATF Resolution No. 110, signed on April 15, “approved with finality” the Priority Group A4 of the National COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Plan as recommended by the National Task Force Against COVID-19 Task Group Recovery Cluster.
The sectors included under A4 are the following:
- 1 – commuter transport (land, air, and sea), including logistics
- 2 – public and private wet and dry market vendors; frontline workers in groceries, supermarkets, delivery services
- 3 – workers in manufacturing for food, beverage, medical and pharmaceutical products
- 4 – frontline workers in food retail, including food service delivery
- 5 – frontline workers in private and government financial services
- 6 – frontline workers in hotels and accommodation establishments
- 7 – priests, rabbis, imams, and other religious leaders
- 8 – security guards/personnel assigned in offices, agencies, and organizations identified in the list of priority industries/sectors
- 9 – frontline workers in private and government news media
- 10 – customer-facing personnel of telecoms, cable and internet service providers, electricity distribution and water distribution utilities
- 11 – frontline personnel in basic education and higher education institutions and agencies
- 12 – overseas Filipino workers, including those scheduled for deployment within two months
- 13 – frontline workers in law/justice, security, and social protection sectors
- 14 – frontline government workers engaged in the operations of government transport system, quarantine inspection worker safety inspection and other COVID-19 response activities
- 15 – frontline government workers in charge of tax collection, assessment of businesses for incentives, election, national ID, data collection personnel
- 16 – diplomatic community and Department of Foreign Affairs personnel in consular operations
- 17 – Department of Public Works and Highways personnel in charge of monitoring government infrastructure projects
The list is without prejudice to the more detailed list to be issued by the Recovery Cluster led by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), and the validation of the final number to be master listed, Resolution 110 noted.
NEDA undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon in an April 12 media briefing said the sectors under category A4, which groups the economic frontliners, were chosen by NEDA because workers in these sectors have “high levels of interaction with or exposure to the public,” particularly those who “cannot really maintain a bubble” in their work.
Given the limited supply of vaccines, the government earlier approved a prioritization framework for its free vaccination program. Those under A4 will be vaccinated after A1 (health workers), A2 (senior citizens), and A3 (persons with comorbidities) groups are through with their jabs.
Edillon said establishments, agencies, and organizations (EAOs) are encouraged to widely disseminate among their workers and personnel the information on vaccine deployment activities and other procedures in their respective local government units (LGU).
To ensure inclusion in the vaccination program, EAOs should issue a Certificate of A4 Eligibility, such as employment, deployment, and assignment, to their workers or personnel who belong to the A4 priority subgroup. The certificate must be signed by the owner of the establishment, highest ranking personnel of the agency or organization with office located in the LGU, or the head of the human resources unit.
EAOs are also advised to adopt a scheduling system for their workers “taking into consideration possible adverse reactions of vaccines, which may result in workers taking time off from work.”
“Workers will register for the appointment with the advised schedule of their employer,” Edillon said.
EAOs are also encouraged to provide logistics support, including transport services, to facilitate the vaccination of their workers, and to coordinate with LGUs for the vaccination.
Asked on the possible vaccination schedule for those under A4, Edillon said, “I think the best case scenario we can start in May. But it can also be in June. There’s a first and second dose so it can be June, July and August.”
The Department of Health is currently developing detailed guidelines on the vaccination of those under A4.