For the Philippine economic to recover, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said a speedier coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine rollout in Metro Manila and other crucial areas is needed.
The NEDA said in a statement on Friday night that it is critical to accelerate vaccination in the NCR+8, or the National Capital Region, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Bulacan, Pampanga, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao, citing data that shows workers living or working in areas with a dense population or dense economic activity are at a high risk of exposure.
“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. Vaccinating them will also help safeguard their families, our health gains, and our economic recovery,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua said.
This follows the inclusion of people who work outside the home and government employees in the A4 priority category for the Covid-19 vaccine program.
Employees in government agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned and controlled corporations and local governments; informal sector workers and self-employed persons who work outside their homes; and those working in private households are now included in the expanded list.
The A4 group was previously focused on economic front-line workers and persons who have frequent interaction with the public and are expected to protect consumer and worker safety.
The first round of vaccine distribution for the broadened A4 group, according to the NEDA, will target nearly 13 million additional employees in NCR+8, which account for the majority of Covid-19 cases in the country.
Following that, another 22.5 million workers from outside NCR+8 will be added, bringing the total number of workers to 35.5 million.