MANILA — The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) leading the country's COVID-19 response said on Friday it "simplified" A4, the fourth priority group in the coronavirus vaccination drive.
Members of this group now include "private sector workers required to be physically present at their designated workplace outside their residences," said IATF and Malacañang spokesman Harry Roque.
"Employees in government agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned and controlled corporations and local government units also belong to A4," Roque said in a statement.
Lastly, A4 will include "informal sector workers and self-employed who may be required to work outside their residences, and those working in private households," he added.
"Inaprubahan [ng IATF] ang rekomendasyon na i-improve at gawing mas simple ang priority group A4 ng COVID-19 immunization program," Roque said in a televised public briefing
(The IATF approved the recommendation to improve and simplify the priority group A4 of the COVID-19 immunization program.)
The task force, he said, approved the initial vaccine deployment for A4 workers in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Pampanga, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, and Rizal provinces, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao.
Authorities aim to start in June the vaccination of about 22.4 A4 workers and 8.5 million indigents who belong to A5, the fifth priority group.
A4 previously included specific sub-groups of essential workers like those in business process outsourcing, vendors, and teachers, among others.
The top 3 priority groups cover health workers and migrant workers, the elderly, and people with comorbities, respectively.
The Philippines has taken delivery of some 8.279 million COVID-19 shots. Authorities have administered at least 4.495 million of these doses nationwide, as of May 25.