The government will start inoculating persons belonging to the A4 and A5 priority groups once the COVID-19 vaccine supply in the country becomes steady, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. said.
According to Sandra Aguinaldo's report on "24 Oras" on Tuesday, Galvez said the Cabinet has approved the expansion of the COVID-19 vaccination program to essential workers and the indigent population.
"Ang ating Gabinete na inaprubahan ng ating rekomendasyon na simulan na ang pagbabakuna ng ating mga kababayan na nasa A4 at A5 na kategorya pagkatapos ng buwan ng Mayo o 'pag nagkaroon na tayo ng steady na supply," Galvez said.
(Our Cabinet has approved our recommendation to start vaccinating those in the A4 and A5 groups after May or when there is already a steady vaccine supply.)
Citing National Economic Development Authority’s data, Galvez said there are 12.8 million Filipinos workers under the A4 category and 16 million indigent Filipinos under the A5 category.
The government’s inter-agency COVID-19 task force earlier announced that the following essential workers are part of the A4 sector:
- workers in 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
A5 category includes indigent population not otherwise included in the preceding categories.
Currently, the government is inoculating medical frontliners, senior citizens, persons with comorbidities, and workers who are considered as economic frontliners.
So far, the government has already vaccinated over three million Filipinos.—LDF, GMA News