The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) finally released the list of subgroups under the A4 category or the frontline personnel in essential sectors.
NEDA Undersecretary Rose Edillon explained how the following economic sectors were chosen and said it was due to their “high levels of interaction with or exposure to the public” or those needed to ensure security, consumer, and worker safety, and those working in priority government projects. She added that these are workers or individuals “who cannot maintain a bubble.”
Last February, the National Government has made a list of priority groups in its Covid-19 vaccination program partly due to the limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines. The priority groups were approved by the country’s Interim National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (INITAG).
Here is the complete Priority Group List, including the 13 new sub-groups under A4.
- A1: Frontline workers in health facilities both national and local, private and public, health professionals and non-professionals like students, nursing aides, janitors, barangay health workers, etc.
- A2: Senior citizens aged 60 and above
- A3: Persons with comorbidities not otherwise included in the preceding categories
- A4: Frontline personnel in essential sectors including uniformed personnel and those in working sectors identified by the IATF as essential during ECQ
- A4.1 - Commuter transport (land, air, and sea), including logistics (delivery)
- A4.2 - Frontline government workers in justice, security, transport, and social protection sectors (including working in jails, police officers, social workers in crisis intervention units)
- A4.3 - Public and private wet and dry market vendors; frontline workers in grocery, supermarkets; delivery services
- A4.4 - Workers in manufacturing for food, beverage, medical and pharmaceutical products
- A4.5 - Frontline workers in food retail, including food service delivery
- A4.6 - Frontline government workers (including safety inspectors, field enumerators, tax and clearance personnel)
- A4.7 - Frontline workers in Financial Services (including front liners in banks, money remittance establishments)
- A4.8 - Teaching and related personnel in medical and allied medical courses of higher education institutions, including personnel handling laboratories
- A4.9 - Frontline workers in hotels and accommodation (especially establishments doubling as quarantine facilities)
- A4.10 - Priests, Pastors, religious leaders regardless of denomination
- A4.11 - Construction workers in government infrastructure projects
- A4.12 - Security guards/personnel assigned in the establishments, offices, agencies, and organizations identified in these priority sectors
- A4.13 - OFWs not classified above and scheduled for deployment within two months
- A5: Indigent population not otherwise included in the preceding categories
- B1: Teachers, Social Workers
- B2: Other Government Workers
- B3: Other essential workers
- B4: Socio-demographic groups at significantly higher risk other than senior citizens and indigenous people
- B5: Overseas Filipino Workers
- B6: Other Remaining Workforce
- C: The rest of the Filipino population not otherwise included in the above groups
Meanwhile, the Department of Transportation said that Filipino seafarers were placed higher in the country’s list of COVID-19 vaccine priority groups since their work is essential in keeping the economy alive.
From being part of B3 (other essential workers) or B5 (overseas Filipino workers), Filipino seafarers are now part of the sub-group A4, or the Top 4 priority sector.
On the other hand, Edillon said that establishments, agencies, and organizations (EAOs) are encouraged to disseminate personnel information on the vaccine deployment activities and other procedures among their workers in their respective local government units.
“We also hope that EAOs (Establishments, Agencies, Organizations) can provide logistical support including transport to facilitate vaccination of their workers, and coordinate also with LGUs for the vaccination,” Edillon said.
“EAOs are 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,” she added.
According to Edillon, employers of those covered should issue a Certificate of A4 Eligibility.
“The Certificate shall be signed by any of the following: owner of an establishment, highest-ranking personnel of the agency or organization with office located in the LGU, head of the Human Resources unit,” she said.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said employers and organizations should prepare the certificates for those included in the A4 category as early as now for distribution.
“Para pag dumating ang panahon na maguumpisa na hindi ito maging cause of delay,” Vergeire said. (So that when vaccination starts, this won’t be a cause of delay.)
The vaccination for the A4 priority group under the best scenario will likely start in May, Edillon said. But it can also be in June since there is a 1st and 2nd dose probably, the vaccination can be in June, July, and August.
The Philippines have received 3 million Covid-19 vaccines but, only more than 1 million or less than half have distributed.
The government said it is difficult to push for a faster inoculation drive due to a global shortage of vaccines.
However, according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, the local government units have been receiving reports of priority groups' hesitancy to be vaccinated as limited numbers are seen registering.
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