President Muhammadu Buhari received the COVID-19 booster Pfizer Biontech vaccine, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Tuesday.
This comes as Nigeria enters the fourth wave of coronavirus disease following a 500 percent increase in the number of cases in the past two weeks.
The booster shot was administered on the President by his Chief Personal Physician, Dr Suhayb Rafindadi, after which his vaccination card was signed by the Director-General (DG) of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib.
Speaking on the importance of the occasion after the brief event, the Director General of NPHCDA said President Buhari had demonstrated leadership by example with the decision to take the booster shot.
Asked about the significance of the shot received by the President, he said: “The significance of the shot this morning is that the father of the nation is leading by example, as usual, he is among the first people that have taken the booster dose of the Pfizer Biontech vaccine.
“Again, to show, clearly, to all Nigerians that it is safe, it is efficacious, and now that over 8 million Nigerians have been vaccinated, here is another proof that this vaccine is safe and it’s a clarion call to all Nigerians to make themselves available to get the vaccine.”
Faisal advised those still not eager to take the COVID-19 vaccine, saying there’s a greater likelihood of dying from the disease if not vaccinated.
He said the evidence had shown that over eight million Nigerians had taken the vaccines safely and “They are well, they are going about their normal businesses”.
Faisal added that “out of every 10 people that have died, the data shows that eight of them are unvaccinated”.
He said the data had also revealed that “COVID-19 is now mostly a disease of the unvaccinated”.
Faisal added: “What Mr. President has done today is again to indicate to all Nigerians that federal government does everything to make sure that only safe and efficacious vaccines are brought into Nigeria, and that when they are brought into Nigeria, we’ll double check to make sure that it fits the very high standards that have been set by NAFDAC.
“So, when you go to any health facility, when you go to any mass vaccination site, one thing that should be clear in your mind is that this vaccine that is going into your body is safe and is going to protect you against severe forms of COVID-19. It will also protect you from dying from COVID-19. That is the assurance that we’re giving Nigerians.
“The other thing that we are also telling Nigerians is that when you take the vaccine, you may feel some pain at the site of the vaccination, you may feel a little bit feverish, you may feel a little bit of body pains, but these are all the indications that the vaccine is working. These are mild symptoms compared to the symptoms you will feel if you were to contract the actual COVID-19.
“This is part of the technology that pretends that this is COVID-19, but in actual fact, it makes your body raise up armies that will now defeat the actual virus.
“So, please stop hesitating, stop having any doubts. It is a question of integrity for us that we do the right thing and we are showing, through leadership from Mr. President, the governors, the legislators that have come out openly to take these vaccines, that these vaccines are exactly what we need to be able to protect our health and then begin to build back our economy,” he said.
On March 6, the President and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo received the first doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines at a ceremony held at the New Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja.
The duo received the second doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines On May 29.