Logistics workers part of 4th PH vaccination priority group

Screengrab of National Economic and Development Authority undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon's presentation during an April 12 online media briefing.
  • Economic frontliners, including  commuter transport (land, air, sea) and logistics (delivery) workers, are included in the fourth priority group of the government’s national vaccination program
  • Establishments, agencies, and organizations should issue a Certificate of A4 Eligibility to their workers or personnel who belong to the A4 priority subgroup and adopt a scheduling system for their workers
  • Vaccination for those under A4 could start in May

Economic frontliners, including workers in commuter transport (land, air, sea) and logistics (delivery), are included in the fourth priority group of the government’s national vaccination program, according to a National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) official.

The 13 sub-groups under category A4 were chosen by NEDA due to their “high levels of interaction with or exposure to the public,” particularly those who “cannot really maintain a bubble” in their work, according to NEDA undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon in an online press briefing on April 12.

Also included in the category are workers in economic sectors needed to ensure security, consumer and worker safety, and those working in priority government projects.

Edillon said the list has been approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) after it was presented to the IATF and the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group.

Given the limited supply of vaccines, the government earlier approved the creation of 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.

The sub-groups in A4 are the following:

  • 1 – Commuter transport (land, air, and sea) workers, including those in logistics (delivery)
  • 2 – Frontline government workers in justice, security, transport, and social protection sectors (including jail workers, police officers, social workers in crisis intervention units)
  • 3 – Public and private wet and dry market vendors; frontline workers in grocery, supermarkets; delivery service workers
  • 4 – Workers in manufacturing for food, beverage, medical and pharmaceutical products
  • 5 – Frontline workers in food retail, including food service delivery
  • 6 – Frontline government workers (including safety inspectors, field enumerators, tax and clearance personnel)
  • 7 – Frontline workers in financial services (including in banks, money remittance establishments)
  • 8 – Teaching and related personnel in medical and allied medical courses of higher education institutions, including personnel handling laboratories
  • 9 – Frontline workers in hotels and accommodation (especially establishments doubling as quarantine facilities)
  • 10 – Priests, pastors, religious leaders regardless of denomination
  • 11 – Construction workers in government infrastructure projects
  • 12 – Security guards/personnel assigned in the establishments, offices, agencies, and organizations identified in these priority sectors
  • 13 – Overseas Filipino workers not classified above, and scheduled for deployment within two months

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 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, Edillona 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 developing detailed guidelines on the vaccination of those under A4.