President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday stated that the COVID-19 vaccine offered hope for a safe country.
Recall that Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Saturday morning received their COVID-19 vaccines.
The President was vaccinated by his personal physician, Dr. Shuaib Rafindadi Sanusi at about 11.51am at at the Old Banquet Hall of the State House in Abuja in the presence of some members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Shortly after President Buhari took the jab, Professor Osinbajo also received the vaccine which was also administered to him by his chief personal physician, Dr. Nicholas Odifre.
Both leaders were later presented with electronic cards containing the details of their vaccinations by the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib.
The brief ceremony was attended by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha; Minister of Health Dr Osagie Ehanire; Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; and the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari.
Speaking after his vaccination, Buhari called on state governments as well as traditional and religious leaders to mobilise their people to embrace vaccination.
The President said, “I urge all state governments, traditional and religious leaders, to take the lead in the mobilisation effort within their environment and spheres of influence. The vaccine offers hope for a safe country, free of Coronavirus.
“I similarly urge all eligible Nigerians to present themselves and be vaccinated in accordance with the order of priority already mapped out at the various authorised designated centres only.”
The president regretted that since the beginning of 2020, humanity has remained under the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic which he described as “an unseen but very potent enemy.”
He noted that infection from the virus has resulted in over 2.5 million fatalities and destroyed several global and national systems.
He added, “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.
“I have been assured by the Presidential Task Force that the AstraZeneca vaccine which Nigeria has accessed, will arrive in batches beginning with the first batch of about four million doses already received. I am similarly aware of the rollout and administration plan to cater for over seventy percent of our population between the years 2021 and 2022.
“Yesterday, our frontline medical personnel, top on the priority list, were vaccinated. Today, as a demonstration of leadership and faith in the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, I have received my first jab, and I wish to recommend it to all eligible Nigerians, to do the same so that we can be protected from the virus.”
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