Gov. Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger on Wednesday received the Oxford Astrazenece COVID-19 vaccine.
It was administered to him by his physician, Dr Shehu Ahmed.
Bello received the vaccine alongside members of the state’s executive council during the official flagged off the vaccination at the Government House in Minna.
He assured that the vaccines were safe and effective, adding that it was necessary to get vaccinated as the state government was doing everything possible to fight COVID-19 pandemic.
“We do not have any choice than to take the vaccine in order to be safe,” he said.
Bello directed all the state’s executive council members to get vaccinated, warning that those who failed to receive the vaccination would not be allowed into the next executive council meeting.
He appreciated the efforts of the Niger State Ministry of Health and its officers for all the efforts to address COVID-19 in the state as such efforts led to the successes recorded in the state.
He lauded the management of the state’s Primary Health Care Agency for achieving the objectives of having one primary health care facility per ward across the state.
Earlier, Dr Makusidi Mohammed, Niger Commissioner of Health, lauded the efforts of the state government in fighting COVID-19.
“This state took a giant step by setting up taskforce on COVID-19, procurement of equipment and establishment of the best molecular laboratory in the state.
“So far, the state has recorded 900,000 cases in the state and one case is presently on admission.
“COVID-19 helped to reposition the health system,” he said.
Mohammed disclosed that the state had received 74,110 doses as the first batch and they would be administered to frontline health workers, adding that the vaccine protocol was designed to get to everyone.
He also affirmed that he vaccine is safe, effective and efficient.
“The ministry has instituted a monitoring and evaluation team in all wards to evaluate the safety of the vaccines.”
He appealed to everyone to get vaccinated in order to be safe as evidence of vaccination might be required for international trips and job employment.
Reports said that Nigerian government on March 2, 2021 received about four million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, shipped via the COVAX facility, a partnership between CEPI, Gavi, UNICEF and WHO.