Expanded A4 group to get 35.5 million more workers vaccinated — NEDA
MANILA, Philippines — Some 35.5 million more workers will be vaccinated against COVID-19 as the government expands its A4 vaccination priority group, estimates from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) showed.
“The first phase of vaccine deployment for the expanded A4 group will be focused on approximately 13 million additional workers in NCR+8 since these areas make up the majority of COVID-19 cases in the country,” NEDA said in a statement Saturday.
“Another 22.5 million workers will subsequently be included from areas outside NCR+8, bringing the total estimate to 35.5 million,” it added.
The NCR Plus 8 area consists of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, Laguna, Pampanga, Batangas, Cebu, and Davao.
The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has simplified the criteria for the vaccination of essential workers or those included in the A4 priority group, Malacañang earlier said.
The expanded A4 list now includes private-sector workers who need to be physically present in their workplace; employees in government agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporations and local government units; informal sector workers and self-employed individuals who work outside their homes; and those working in private households.
“The A4 group was formerly focused on economic front liners and personnel who have high levels of interaction with the public, and are needed to ensure security and consumer and worker safety,” NEDA noted.
Previously, the government’s list of persons under A4 was divided into subgroups that include transportation workers, market vendors, religious leaders, overseas Filipino workers, and more.
“There is a high demand for vaccines from the economic sectors. As we are expecting an increase in the supply beginning June 2021, we are now able to expand the list to protect more workers,” NEDA Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua said in the same statement.
“Vaccinating them will also help safeguard their families, our health gains, and our economic recovery,” he added.
Socioeconomic Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon, meanwhile, enjoined establishments, agencies, and organizations (EAOs) to work closely with NEDA and “help reach and vaccinate as many A4 group members as possible.”
“The EAOs may organize vaccination of their A4-eligible workers in their offices or workplaces,” Edillon added.
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