IATF approves 4th priority group for COVID-19 vaccination

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IATF approves 4th priority group for COVID-19 vaccination
Senior citizens with comorbidity and frontliners get vaccinated at Pinyahan Elementary School in Quezon City during the continuation of inoculation of Sinovac vaccine on April, 14, 2021.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — (Updated 12:34 p.m.) The government’s pandemic task force has approved the list of sectors included in the fourth priority group—economic frontliners in essential services—for COVID-19 vaccination.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque released the updated list of sectors part of the A4 priority group on Friday. They will be next in line for inoculation after health workers (A1), senior citizens (A2) and people with co-morbidities.

The list now includes frontliners in the private and government news media, frontline personnel in basic education, and other government workers.

“They’re directly interacting with people. Second, their contribution to the economy. That’s why they are called essential because their work cannot stop,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in explaining the basis for the inclusion of these sectors in A4 priority group. 

Vergeire said the government is finalizing the guidelines as well as the timeline for the vaccination of A4 priority groups. 

Here is the list of sectors part of the A4 priority group:

  • Commuter transport (land, air, and sea), including logistics
  • Public and private wet and dry market vendors
  • Frontline workers in groceries, supermarkets, delivery services
  • Workers in manufacturing for food, beverage, medical and pharmaceutical products
  • Frontline workers in food retail, including food service delivery
  • Frontline workers in private and government financial services
  • Frontline workers in hotels and accommodation establishments
  • Priests, rabbis, imams, and other religious leaders
  • Security guards/ personnel assigned in offices, agencies, and organizations identified in the list of priority industries/sectors
  • Frontline workers in private and government news media
  • Customer-facing personnel of telecoms, cable and internet service providers, electricity distribution and water distribution utilities
  • Frontline personnel in basic education and higher education institutions and agencies
  • Overseas Filipino workers, including those scheduled for deployment within two months
  • Frontline workers in law/justice, security, and social protection sectors
  • Frontline government workers engaged in the operations of government transport system, quarantine inspection
  • Worker safety inspection and other COVID-19 response activities
  • Frontline government workers in charge of tax collection, assessment of businesses for incentives, election, national ID, data collection personnel
  • Diplomatic community and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) personnel in consular operations
  • Department of Public Works and Highways personnel in charge of monitoring government infrastructure projects

So far, the Philippines has received only over three million doses of COVID-19 jabs.

The country has administered 1,255,716 doses as of Tuesday. Only 162,065 people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 after receiving their second doses.

In a speech aired Thursday night, President Rodrigo Duterte said “nobody knows” when COVID-19 vaccines will be enough to vaccinate Filipinos.

“Now, when will we have that stocks sufficient to vaccinate the people? I really do not know. Nobody knows,” he said.

The government aims to inoculate up to 70 million people this year.

The country’s COVID-19 caseload surpassed 900,000, of which 20.3% were active cases. The disease claimed the lives of 15,594 people.



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