From Bello Wakili
President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo have received the first doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo got the jab live on TV, a day after the COVID-19 national vaccine programme commenced with the vaccination of healthcare and frontline workers at the National Hospital, Abuja.
The President and his Vice received the first shots of the vaccine at the New Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja in the presence of members of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, senior government officials and journalists.
The Personal Physician to the President, Dr Sanusi Raafindadi administered the vaccine to him while that of the Vice President’ was done by his Personal Physician, Dr Nicholas Audifferen.
Speaking after the vaccine was administered to him, President Buhari described his decision to take the vaccine in public as ‘‘a demonstration of leadership and faith in the safety and efficacy of the vaccines.’
He urged all state governments, traditional and religious leaders, to take the lead in the mobilization effort within their environment and spheres of influence.
He also urge all eligible Nigerians to present themselves and be vaccinated in accordance with the order of priority already mapped out, at the various authorized designated centres ONLY.
President Buhari congratulated the PTF on COVID-19 on the successful multi-sectoral approach to the management of the pandemic.
He also acknowledged and commended the support of Governments, donors, development partners, the private sector, traditional and religious leaders as well as critical stakeholders who have supported Nigeria’s response to the pandemic, assuring that all the resources will be equitably administered.
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.
President Buhari spoke of the assurance by the PTF that the AstraZeneca vaccine which Nigeria had accessed would arrive in batches beginning with the four million doses already received.
The President said the roll out and administration plan would cater for over seventy percent of Nigeria’s population in 2021 and 2022.