The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on the COVID-19 pandemic and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, on Monday, led members of the PTF to receive their first doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
The live vaccination was part of the effort to convince Nigerians exhibiting vaccine hesitancy that the jab is safe and efficacious.
Some of the government officials who received their jabs at the regular media briefing of the task force in Abuja are Ministers of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire; Environment, Muhammad Mahmood; Foreign Affairs Geoffery Onyema as well as the World Health Organisation (WHO) Representative in Nigeria, Mr Walter Mulombo; Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib; and the Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control( NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu,
In his remarks, the SGF stressed that “In this war, we are all involved in this because nobody is safe until everybody is safe. Our ultimate objective is to vaccinate about 70 per cent of our population which is about 200 million, between the years 2021 and 2022.”
Mustapha added: “The process of orderly rollout, deployment, and administration of the vaccines will, undoubtedly, further test our ability to do things properly and strategically. Real-time authentic information must go out, mobilisation must be effective and timely, while transparency and accountability must be evident in all we are doing to the last mile.
“All these shall involve the Governors, our legislators, all sub-national entities, the media, traditional and religious leaders, Civil Society Organisations, business communities, labour organisations, leaders of thought, parents, etc. No stone will be left unturned to reach the population of eligible Nigerians.
“I wish to admonish Nigerians to remember that while vaccines offer great hope, it cannot on its own protect you completely. We must continue to observe the non-pharmaceutical measures earlier introduced. There is no doubt that their effectiveness will help to minimise the impact of the virus in Nigeria and our attitude must be NPIs + Vaccines. The Initial strategy therefore shall be sustained because we must continue to prevent, detect, isolate and treat. The war against COVID-19 is by no means over.”
Mustapha said the Ministry of Aviation and the NCAA have been tasked to take necessary reciprocal measures against Emirate and Lufthansa airlines as may be permissible under the laws and other international obligations over pre-departure testing requirements that passengers should meet before travelling from Nigeria.
He admonished Nigerians not to fall for conspiracy theories surrounding the vaccines, saying: “Taking the vaccines will protect you, your loved ones, and the entire community.”
Mustapha, PTF members, others receive COVID-19 vaccine
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