The Philippine Government has officially started the rollout of vaccines for the A4 priority group today (June 7), which consists of essential workers. 

The expansion of the national government’s inoculation drive is expected to encompass a total of 22 million Filipino workers, the Department of Health said.

To kick off the diversification of the administration’s vaccination, a ceremony was held in Pasay City, specifically at SM City Sucat. 

According to DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, the administering of anti-COVID jabs to workers will be divided into two phases. 

“Meron tayong initial estimate na 22 million for the A4 sector. Pero ang ating unang estratehiya, the initiative, we will have a phased implementation,” Vergeire said during an online press briefing. 

The initial phase will target workers in the NCR+8 region – in Metro Manila, Cavite, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, Pampanga, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao. 

For the second phase, essential workers outside the NCR+8 region will be the target.

Those eligible are : 

  • A4.1 – private-sector workers who work outside their homes
  • A4.2 – employees in government agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporations and local government units
  • A4.3 – informal sector workers and self-employed who work outside their homes and those working in private households

So far, the government has administered anti-coronavirus shots to 5.9 million Filipinos – 1,544,332 of which have been fully inoculated. 

The government’s rollout is making use of four vaccines, which received emergency use authorizations (EUAs) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), specifically Sinovac, Sputnik V, and AstraZeneca, and Pfizer. 

As of June 6, the number of active cases in the country is 59,337. Meanwhile, the total tally of infections is 1,269,478.

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Image credit: Photo by Veejay Villafranca / Bloomberg via Getty Images