KANO, Nigeria

All eligible Nigerians must enlist for COVID-19 vaccinations, the country’s president has said after taking the first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab live on television.

President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo were given the vaccine in the capital Abuja on the second day of Nigeria’s immunization drive on Saturday.

The event was televised as “a demonstration of leadership and faith in the safety and efficacy of the vaccines,” according to the president.

“I have received my first dose and I urge all eligible Nigerians to do the same so that we can be protected from the virus,” said Buhari, advising citizens to only get vaccinated at authorized designated centers.

“The vaccine offers us hope for a safe Nigeria that is free of this coronavirus.”

Nigeria’s COVID-19 case tally is now above 158,000, including 1,954 deaths and over 137,000 recoveries, according to latest figures from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

Buhari called on all state governments and political and religious leaders to play their part in making the vaccination drive a success.

The president said Nigeria has received 4 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and will be getting more shipments in the near future.

He explained that the government plans to vaccinate at least 70% of the country’s over 205 million population in 2021 and 2022.

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