A DAVAO City councilor is pushing for the prioritization of the immediate family of all public health workers in the Covid-19 vaccination.
Councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte filed on Tuesday, July 14, a resolution requesting the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to include in the priority groups the vaccination of the immediate family of all public health workers.
Villafuerte said she is pushing for the prioritization since families of health workers face a higher risk of exposure to Covid-19.
The councilor said a month ago, the national IATF expanded the priority list for A1 health workers to include the immediate family of health workers.
“We were very happy, however, nearly a week later, we were disappointed and dismayed because this was further clarified to only include the immediate family members of health workers working in Covid[-19] hospitals and quarantine centers,” Villafuerte said.
According to the National Vaccine Deployment for Covid-19 of the Department of Health (DOH), Priority A1 group are workers in frontline health services, A2 are the senior citizens, A3 are persons with comorbidities, A4 are frontline personnel in essential sectors (including uniformed personnel), and A5 are the indigent population (including indigenous peoples and 4Ps beneficiaries).
The councilor said the National Vaccine Operation Center, through Advisory 54, adopted the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation to prioritize health care workers managing Covid-19 patients.
“Family group members of health workers shall be labeled as priority group A1.9. However the limitation of A1.9 to immediate family members of health care workers managing Covid-19 patients illustrates the urgency to similarly include all public health workers and their immediate families in the same or an additional priority subgroup under Priority Group 1,” Villafuerte said.
She said that health workers working in the district health centers are “equally exposed” to the virus.
“This inclusion will ensure that all public health workers and their immediate families who are likewise in an environment with increased risk for Covid-19 infection are covered in a leading priority group with the early vaccination expected to reduce the risk of further Covid-19 surges,” Villafuerte said.