DA-Central Visayas to lobby farmers’ inclusion in Covid-19 vaccine priority list

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THE Department of Agriculture (DA) 7 wants to lobby the inclusion of farmers in the government’s priority groups to be vaccinated once more vaccine doses will be made available.

DA 7 Director Salvador Diputado said the farmers have been untiring in continuing to provide the country’s food supply, especially during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“They really deserve to be included in the vaccination program of the government. However, the number of doses that arrived was still limited. And the government has a priority list, so we must adhere to it,” he said.

According to the Department of Health (DOH), frontline health workers, senior citizens, the indigent population and uniformed personnel are the priority groups to be vaccinated.

“With the initial limited supply, frontline health workers and uniformed personnel are prioritized since they have higher risk of exposure while on duty and to allow them to continue fulfilling their duties in both the public and private sectors. Vulnerable groups such as the elderly and the indigent population are prioritized guided by the principle of equity,” DOH said in its website.

Ideally, Diputado said, farmers should be included.

“We will really suggest that soon, when we have a lot of stocks that will arrive, farmers will have help (in vaccination). They will be aided in their livelihood. They will also receive help in terms of protecting themselves from the virus,” he said.

About 650,000 farmers in Central Visayas are recorded in DA 7’s registry system for basic sectors in agriculture in 2020.

“We will give them a full representation, but it also depends on the policy makers whether farmers will get considered,” Diputado said. (JOB)