Buhari: Why every eligible Nigerian should get COVID-19 vaccination

Muhammadu Buhari receiving the COVID-19 vaccine in Abuja on Saturday

By Ismaila Chafe

Abuja, March 6, 2021 (NAN) President Muhammadu has urged all eligible Nigerians to get the Coronavirus (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.

Buhari congratulated the Presidential Task Force (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 supported Nigeria’s response to the pandemic, assuring that all the resources provided would 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.

“Infection from the virus has resulted in over two million and five hundred thousand fatalities and destroyed several global and national systems.

“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,’’ he said.

Buhari spoke of 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.

The president said 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 Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination in public as “a demonstration of leadership and faith in the safety and efficacy of the vaccines.’’

He expressed the view after he, alongside Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo had received the first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday in Abuja.

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 frontline workers at the National Hospital, Abuja.

The Chief 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.

The president and the 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.