Press Release
April 23, 2021

Bong Go asks IATF to provide detailed guidelines for A4 priority groups to ensure safe, efficient and orderly vaccination nationwide

As government prepares to expand the vaccine rollout to a larger segment of the population, Senator Christopher "Bong" Go issued an appeal to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases and its member-agencies to finalize the detailed guidelines on the required processes and procedures to be followed by those who are covered by the A4 category of the COVID-19 vaccine priority list.

"Alam nating aprubado na ng IATF ang framework ng A4 category sa ating priority list, at kung anong sectors ang bahagi nito. Pero nanawagan ako na dapat klaruhin pa lalo ang guidelines kung sino talaga, within the sectors mentioned sa A4 category, ang uunahin sa priority, saan sila lalapit para magrehistro, at paano masisigurong mababakunahan ang dapat mabakunahan sa maayos at ligtas na paraan sa iba't ibang parte ng bansa," he said.

Go commended the government for its ongoing efforts to accelerate the vaccine rollout for those belonging in A1 to A3 categories, particularly frontliners, senior citizens, and those with comorbidities. He, however, raised concerns that as the rollout reaches a bigger segment of the population, more preparations must be done to ensure seamless and efficient inoculation nationwide.

"Dapat siguraduhin natin na mabilis at sistematiko ang pagdi-distribute ng mga bakuna, lalo na ngayong may mga kumakalat na bagong variants na mas nakakahawa. While we want to vaccinate as many people as quickly as we can, we still need to ensure their health and safety while they are in the process of getting vaccinated," said Go.

The IATF-EID had issued the updated list of sectors included in Priority Group A4 on Thursday, April 15. The list includes essential workers from the education, government services, manufacturing, market, news media and transportation sectors or industries.

National Economic and Development Authority Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon disclosed during a recent media briefing that the schedule of the next phase of the vaccine rollout has yet to be finalized.

Depending on the availability of the vaccines, the government expects to begin inoculating members of the A4 priority group by June or July, if not May at the earliest. Edillon added that the inoculation may be held simultaneously with the remaining A2 (senior citizens) and A3 (persons with comorbidities) priority groups.

To ensure the efficient rollout of the vaccines, the Senator urged the IATF, DOH, NEDA, and other relevant authorities to communicate the guidelines in a clear and simplified manner that the public can understand and comply with. He stressed the importance of effective communications in avoiding confusion and overcrowding at vaccination centers.

Prior to the start of the rollout, Go had issued several appeals to the government to include media workers, particularly frontliners and field reporters of news outlets, in the COVID-19 priority list.

He noted the significant role played by the media, especially during the pandemic, by disseminating information and keeping Filipinos informed about the latest developments, while putting their health and safety at risk.

"Ang media ay napakaimportanteng sektor at maituturing ding essential workers dahil sa tungkulin na kanilang ginagampanan. Sila ang nagdadala ng balita at kasangga natin sila sa pagbibigay ng tamang impormasyon sa publiko," explained Go.

"Kaya dapat ang media ay bigyan din ng prayoridad 'pag andyan na ang safe at epektibong vaccine para tuloy-tuloy din ang inyong pagtatrabaho, pagko-cover at pagdadala ng balita sa ating mga kababayan," he continued.

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