Buhari, Osinbajo receive COVID-19 vaccine, other ‘strategic leaders’ to follow
Vaccine certificate will soon be prerequisite for travel-Mustapha
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PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo were vaccinated against COVID-19 on Saturday morning.
The president, who was vaccinated by his personal physician Suhayb Sanusi, received the shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine at about 11.51 am at a brief ceremony by top government officials at the New Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Yemi Osinabjo, Nigeria’s vice president, was also vaccinated by his personal physician Nicholas Audifferen at about 11.57 am.
Speaking after the vaccinations, Boss Mustapha, chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, said COVID-19 vaccination certificate would soon become a mandatory requirement to travel anywhere in the world.
“Today, Mr President and the Vice-President have equally demonstrated leadership for the Nigerian people to believe in the safety and the efficacy of the vaccines that we have procured.
“Vaccine hesitancy will have to give way to the reality because the truth about it is that very soon, nobody will be able to travel the world unless you produce the certificate that you have been given. I have not confirmed this, but reliably, some countries have started putting restrictions for receiving visitors without a COVID-19 vaccination certificate.
“The word that is going out there on behalf of Mr President is that Nigerians should make themselves available.
“They (vaccines) have been tested, our most respected leadership have received these vaccines this morning, they are safe, they are efficacious and it is for the good and wellbeing of our people.”
Nigeria had, on Tuesday, received 3.9 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVAX Facility in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF).
The presidency had earlier said that the frontline health workers and strategic leaders would be first administered the vaccine before persons 50 years and above- with priority for people with co-morbidities.
The first shot of the vaccine was given to Cyprian Ngong, a medical doctor at the National Hospital, Abuja, shortly after the country commenced COVID-19 vaccination with frontline health workers in Abuja.
Meanwhile, Faisal Shuaib, executive director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), had earlier said that President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice president Yemi Osinbajo and other ‘strategic leaders’ would receive the vaccine on Saturday to increase public confidence in getting vaccinated.
However, Yahaya Bello, Kogi State governor, reportedly said he would not take the vaccine because he was healthy. According to newspaper reports, Bello said on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ on Friday, that “COVID-19 is not our business in Kogi State. We have more pertinent issues and more pertinent matters that we are attending to in Kogi State.” The Punch quoted Bello as saying that “If the Federal Government is gracious enough and give us COVID-19 vaccines, we will equally sensitise our people. People who wish to come and take can come and take, but I am not going to subject the people of Kogi State to vaccines or vaccination and I will not make them the guinea pigs.”