President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday in Abuja received his first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine, saying it offers hope for a safer Nigeria, free from coronavirus.
Buhari, together with Vice President Yemi 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 two leaders 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.’’
‘‘I have received my first jab and I wish to commend it to all eligible Nigerians, to do same so that we can be protected from the virus,’’ he said.
He urged all state governments, traditional and religious leaders, to take the lead in the mobilization 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 authorized designated centres ONLY,’’ he added.
‘‘Infection from the virus has resulted in over two million and five hundred thousand fatalities and destroyed several global and national systems,” he said.