COVID-19 vaccine: Presidency allays fears over Buhari's health

Buhari taking the AstraZeneca:Oxford COVID-19 vaccine

Buhari taking the AstraZeneca vaccine. Photo Sunday Aghaeze

Buhari taking the AstraZeneca:Oxford COVID-19 vaccine. Photo Sunday Aghaeze

Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity) has allayed fears of Nigeria’s citizens over the health of Muhammadu Buhari after the president received a jab of COVID-19 vaccine.

The president’s chief physician, Suhayb Rafidadi, administered the vaccine at about 11.52 a.m. on the president. The vice president was also vaccinated by his physician, Nicholas Audifferen, immediately after the president received his dose.

The vaccination process was streamed on live television to encourage other Nigerians to accept the vaccines.

However, in a statement released on Saturday evening, Garba Shehu confirmed that the president has carried on as normal after receiving the vaccine.

Garba said: In response to press enquiries, I like to assure all citizens and to dispel fears and misconceptions about the safety of the vaccine administered on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN earlier this morning.

“After he got his jab, the President felt normal and went about doing his job. If there are side effects that follow, we will be open about that but so far there is nothing of a side effect, serious or mild on the President. He is carrying on as normal.

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“We hope this will help to send a strong message among the people, especially those grappling with hesitancy about the efficacy and safety of the vaccine.”

Meanwhile, earlier today, Buhari said: “Today, 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 same so that we can be protected from the virus.

Mr Buhari added that the response to COVID-19 in Nigeria and the ECOWAS sub-region has been robust, collaborative and united.

“It was driven by a collective knowledge of the fact that no country is safe until every country is safe,” he said.

He noted that the speedy development of the COVID-19 vaccines is significant and underscores the collective resolve of humanity to overcome the pandemic.

He appealed to all state governments, traditional and religious leaders, to take the lead in the mobilization effort within their environment and spheres of influence.

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