By Johnbosco Agbakwuru with agency reports
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, urged Nigerians to get Covid-19 vaccination “so that we can be protected from the virus.”
Speaking after he had received the jab, the President said, “I have received my first jab and I wish to recommend it to all eligible Nigerians, (and urge them) to do same so that we can be protected from the virus.”
He urged all state governments, traditional and religious leaders to take the lead in the mobilisation effort within their environments and spheres of influence.
‘“The vaccine offers hope for a safe country, free of the coronavirus. I similarly urge all eligible Nigerians to present themselves to be vaccinated in accordance with the order of priority already mapped out, at the various authorised designated centres ONLY,” he added.
The president noted that since the beginning of the year 2020, humanity had remained under the burden of COVID-19 pandemic, an unseen but very potent enemy around the world.
“Infection from the virus has resulted in over two million and five hundred thousand fatalities and destroyed several global and national systems”, Buhari said.
“The response in Nigeria and the ECOWAS sub-region has been robust, collaborative, and united.
“It was driven by a collective knowledge of the fact that no country is safe until every country is safe.”
“The speedy development of the COVID-19 vaccines is quite significant and underscores the collective resolve of humanity to overcome the pandemic.
“Similarly, the collaborative effort to ensure equal access has brought relief to poor and developing countries’.
The president restated the assurance by the PTF that the AstraZeneca vaccine, which Nigeria has accessed, would arrive in batches beginning with the four million doses already received.
According to him, the roll out and administration plan would cater to more than 70 per cent of Nigeria’s population in 2021 and 2022.
He had described his decision to take the vaccination in public as “a demonstration of leadership and faith in the safety and efficacy of the vaccines.”
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo also received the jab.
Buhari and Osinbajo received the jabs live on TV, a day after the COVID-19 national vaccine programme began with the vaccination of healthcare and front-line workers at the National Hospital, Abuja.
The Chief Physician to the President, Dr. Sanusi Raafindadi, administered the vaccine on him while that of the Vice President was done by his Personal Physician, Dr. Nicholas Audifferen.
The president and vice-president received the first shots of the vaccine at the New Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja in the presence of members of the PTF on COVID-19, senior government officials and journalists.