Outbound OFWs, healthcare workers' immediate family members now included in A1 priority group for vaccination
Outbound overseas Filipino workers and immediate family members of healthcare workers have been included in the priority group A1 for vaccination against coronavirus disease, an official said on Friday.
This is one of the "refinements" made by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on the government's COVID-19 Immunization Program, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a televised press briefing.
Quoting IATF Resolution No. 117, Roque, also the IATF spokesman, said the National Task Force Against COVID-19 recommended the changes on A4 priority group.
"Outbound overseas Filipino workers for deployment within the next four months from the intended date of vaccination shall be re-categorized to Priority Group A1," the IATF resolution read.
The immediate family members of healthcare workers are also included under A1, "should supply be available," it said.
Meanwhile, the IATF included more sectors in the A4 priority group or the economic frontliners.
These include private sector workers required to be physically present at their designated workplace outside of their residences; employees in government agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned and controlled corporations and local government units; and informal sector workers and self-employed who may be required to work outside their residences, and those working in private households.
The IATF said vaccine deployment for A4 shall be initially focused on the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Pampanga, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao and workers from all other areas.
"Notwithstanding the foregoing, local government units shall be required to exert any and all efforts to continuously prioritize the A1, A2 and A3 priority groups by establishing special lanes and/or vaccination centers for them to ensure that health frontliners, senior citizens and other vulnerable sectors of the population continue to be prioritized in the vaccination program," IATF said.
Among A4, it said LGUs may give preference for persons aged 40 to 59 over persons aged 18 to 39 years old.
The IATF also approved the recommendations of the Sub-Technical Working Group on Information and Communications Technology to further improve on the use of StaySafe.PH, a contact tracing application of the government.
Specifically, the task force gave its nod on the use of the modules for establishment protection, as well as citizen application, subject to the presentation to the IATF of its operability; and the Joint Administrative Order for the Interoperability of all contact tracing applications.
The IATF also directed the LGUs to adopt and utilize the Department of Information and Communications Technology Vaccine Administrations System or D-VAS, to be done in phases as may be determined by the DICT.
"The use of D-VAS is without prejudice to the use of the LGU's own local database system as a supplementary system," it said.
The first phase of the D-VAS will be implemented in the NCR, Region III or Central Luzon, Region IV-A or Calabarzon, Cebu City, and Davao City. Celerina Monte/DMS