President Buhari calls for Nigerians to follow his vaccine lead By Reuters

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President Buhari calls for Nigerians to follow his vaccine lead



ABUJA, March 6 (Reuters) – President Muhammadu Buhari hadhis first COVID-19 vaccine shot on Saturday, part of a bid toboost public confidence as Nigeria attempts to inoculate 80million people this year.Vaccinating Nigeria’s 200 million people, and those in otherdeveloping countries, is seen as key to stemming the spread ofthe coronavirus, but getting doses across the vast nation, withits pot-holed roads and lawless areas, is a huge challenge.Not all Nigeria’s states have functioning airports, railnetworks are limited, and authorities also have to overcomepublic distrust around the vaccines. “As a demonstration of leadership and faith in the safetyand efficacy of the vaccines, I have received my first jab and Iwish to commend it to all eligible Nigerians to do the same sothat we can be protected from the virus,” Buhari said.”The vaccine offers hope for a safe country free ofcoronavirus,” the 78-year-old president added after he wasvaccinated live on Nigerian television.On Friday, a doctor became the first person in Nigeria to bevaccinated against the coronavirus. Nigeria, with 158,042 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,954deaths, has not been as hard hit as first feared, but aims tovaccinate 40% of its people this year, and another 30% in 2022.”I urge Nigerians … not to listen to any conspiracytheories,” Boss Mustapha, who chairs Nigeria’s presidential taskforce on COVID-19, said at Buhari’s vaccination.Nigeria took delivery of 3.92 million doses of theOxford/AstraZeneca vaccine on Tuesday through COVAX andexpects 84 million doses via the scheme for poor andmiddle-income countries this year. The scheme is co-led by Gavi, the vaccine alliance, and theWorld Health Organization, with UNICEF an implementing partner.
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