The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has urged Nigerians to get vaccinated against the virus, noting that people may no longer be able to travel across the world without a COVID-19 vaccination certificate.
Boss Mustapha, Chairman of the PTF, stated this shortly after President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo received their COVID-19 vaccine at the New Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Saturday.
According to Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, some countries are already agitating for the COVID-19 vaccination certificate to become a travel requirement in order to restrict travel in a bid to protect their citizens.
He said the public vaccination of both the president and vice president should help abate vaccine hesitancy and encourage Nigerians to take the vaccine.
He said: “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, those that are eligible in the first phase of the deployment, because the deployment is going to be in four phases, to receive these vaccines.
“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.”
Both President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo were 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 vaccination of both leaders took place a day after Nigeria formally commenced the exercise following the delivery of 3.94 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine by COVAX.
A medical doctor, Cyprian Ngong, made history as the first person to receive the vaccine in Nigeria, while three other frontline health workers – Dr Nuru Joseph, Dr Thairu Yunusa, and Nurse Faith Eragbai, all of the National Hospital, Abuja, were also vaccinated.