COVID task force OKs 4th priority group for vaccination; vendors, clergy included

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 16 2021 08:25 AM | Updated as of Apr 16 2021 11:26 AM


COVID task force OKs 4th priority group for vaccination; vendors, clergy included 1
Sinovac vaccine vials are handled by medical professionals at the Chancery Diocese of Novaliches in Quezon City on April 15, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The inter-agency task force leading the country's COVID-19 response has approved a fourth priority group in the coronavirus vaccination drive, Malacañang said on Friday. 

The designated A4 group that the IATF approved on Thursday includes the following, said Palace spokesman Harry Roque: 

  • 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 2 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 

The first three groups on top of the vaccination priority are health workers, the elderly, and people with comorbidities. 

The Philippines has so far received 3.02 million COVID-19 vaccine doses. 

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President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday these were "barely enough" for the country's 1.7 million health workers. 

The Philippines aims to vaccinate 70 million people this year. 

Authorities have administered about 1.2 million shots, Roque said on Thursday. The government expects to receive 1.5 million more vaccine doses this April. 

The country has logged a total of 904,285 coronavirus infections, of which 183,527 or 20.3 percent were active cases as of Thursday, the Department of Health (DOH) said in its latest bulletin 

The agency also reported 148 new COVID-related deaths, pushing the country's coronavirus death toll to 15,594.