Essential workers apart from medical frontliners can get vaccinated for COVID-19 as early as May, a top Cabinet official said Monday as the Philippines awaits more vaccines.
Cabinet Sec. Karlo Nograles, who co-chairs the government's inter-agency task force on pandemic response, said workers such as security guards and supermarket personnel can be vaccinated by mid-May since more vaccines are expected to be available by then.
“Siguro mga mid-May up to June, doon na po magkakaroon ng bulk ng ating vaccine na ineexpect for quarter two then for quarter three," Nograles said in an interview with ANC.
"Obviously, mas marami pang bakuna ang makukuha natin so probably mga mid-May to June, pupuwede na po yung A4,” he said, referring to the group of essential workers.
At present, COVID-19 vaccines are made available to health workers (A1), senior citizens (A2), and persons with comorbidities (A3).
For the month of April, the Philippines is still waiting for some 2 million combined vaccine doses from China's Sinovac and Russia's Gamaleya Institute.
These are the people who qualify as A4 or essential workers according to the government's pandemic task force:
- 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 two 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 (DPWH) personnel in charge of monitoring government infrastructure projects