Nigeria's Buhari gets COVID vaccine shot

Buhari said he wanted to encourage all Nigerians to have the jab, although the country faces massive security and logistical challenges in rolling out the inoculations.

FILE: Muhammadu Buhari, the President of Nigeria, sits at the Shehu of Borno's palace in Maiduguri on 12 February 12, 2020. Picture: AFP.

ABUJA, Nigeria - Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine on Saturday, the day after the rollout of the shots began in Africa's most populous nation.

Buhari said he wanted to encourage all Nigerians to have the jab, although the country faces massive security and logistical challenges in rolling out the inoculations.

"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," Buhari said in a statement.

Vice-President Yami Osinbajo also received a first dose on Saturday in the event broadcast on public television from the presidential palace in Abuja.

On Friday, a doctor had been the first of Nigeria's 200 million people to be vaccinated.

Some four million doses of vaccines provided through the global Covax scheme had arrived on Tuesday.

A total of around 16 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University shots are expected in the coming months, and Nigerian officials hope to vaccinate 70 percent of over-18s within two years.

So far almost 2,000 Nigerians have died out of 158,000 confirmed cases, although both figures are believed to be underestimates due to limited testing.

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