Private sector asks for ‘flexibility’ in own COVID-19 vaccination rollout

By CNN Philippines Staff

The private sector is appealing for ‘flexibility’ in its own vaccination rollout so that all the industry workers who are part of the A4 priority group could be inoculated simultaneously, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said on Wednesday.

“What we want to appeal to DOH (Department of Health) and NITAG (National Immunization Technical Advisory Group) is to give the private sector the flexibility…on who comes first,” Concepcion told a House hearing on the country’s COVID-19 vaccination program.

Concepcion said 751 micro, small and medium enterprises ordered 590,996 doses and 253 large companies purchased 6,003,486 doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Half of the doses ordered by big firms will be donated to the national government, he added.

He also said vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. has agreed that the donated doses will be given “after the private sector has been able to vaccinate its employees.”

Concepcion said among the industries that purchased the vaccines are food and beverage, utilities (water, electricity, communication, energy, media), healthcare, manufacturing, construction, business process outsourcing, retail, agriculture, hospitality (hotels and accommodation), logistics, and financial services. He also noted they have “different positions” in the A4 group list.

The A4 sector has 17 subgroups. First to be vaccinated are those in the business of commuter transport (land, air, and sea), including logistics.

They are followed by the public and private wet and dry market vendors; frontline workers in groceries, supermarkets, delivery services then workers in manufacturing for food, beverage, medical and pharmaceutical products.

The A4 group will be vaccinated after the ongoing inoculation of senior citizens and people with comorbidities. The government aims to vaccinate this group in June, which is the same month the initial batch of 1.3 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine for the private sector is scheduled to arrive.

Concepcion said the private sector has ordered over five million AstraZeneca vaccine doses.

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