Frontline workers under A4 group not yet up for vaccination: DOH

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 23 2021 02:05 PM

Video courtesy of the Department of Health

MANILA — Frontline workers under the A4 priority group still have to wait for prioritization guidelines before they can be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the government, the health department said Friday.

“We are drafting the guidelines right now,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a virtual briefing. “We will soon be issuing this.”

The A4 priority group refers to frontliners of essential sectors. These include market vendors, supermarket and food retail workers, and other workers who are required to interact with the public due to their work.

Vergeire said the DOH and vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. already met with the private sector on Thursday and is coordinating with the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) for the crafting of the prioritization guidelines.

“Kailangan lang natin ipaliwanag uli at ipagbigay alam sa ating mga kababayan, hindi pa naguumpisa ang A4 natin na pagbabakuna. So nandun pa rin tayo sa simultaneous vaccinations ng A1 to A3,” she explained.

(We just have to explain to the public that our A4 vaccination has not started yet. We are still on the simultaneous vaccinations of A1 to A3.)

Currently, the Philippines is vaccinating three priority groups: health workers (A1), those over 60 years old (A2), and those with comorbidities (A3).

The government has previously explained that it has to limit the priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination due to the limited supply of vaccines. There are only 3.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the Philippines and only 1.6 million have been administered as of April 22. This is still far from the target of 70 million vaccinees by the end of the year to reach herd immunity.