Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, together with his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, received first doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, urging Nigerians to do the same.
Buhari and Osinbajo got the jab live on television, a day after the COVID-19 national vaccine program commenced with the vaccination of healthcare and frontline workers at the National Hospital, Abuja.
The two leaders received their shots of the vaccine at the Presidential Villa, in the presence of members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and senior government officials.
The personal physicians to the president and vice president administered the vaccine to them.
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 the same so that we can be protected from the virus,” the president said on his Twitter handle after he received the jab. “The vaccine offers hope for a safe country, free of Coronavirus.”
The country on Tuesday received 3.94 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccines, the much-awaited first batch of vaccines from the COVAX Facility.
It is the first of such shipments expected to be made to Nigeria in the efforts to control the spread of the COVID-19.
Faisal Shuaib, the executive director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, told media in a press briefing in Abuja in mid-February that the country planned to vaccinate approximately 109 million people against COVID-19 over a period of two years.
Shuaib said persons eligible for the COVID-19 are those from 18 years and above, including pregnant women.