*Urges more sensitisation, advocacy
By Ignatius Okorocha
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan took the lead at the National Assembly on Tuesday when he received the first jab of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
The vaccine was administered on him in his office by his personal physician, Dr Muhammad Usman and witnessed by some Distinguished Senators led by the Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi.
The vaccination card was presented to the Senate President by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Health(Secondary and Tertiary), Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe.
Speaking shortly after he received the first jab of the vaccine, the Senate President called on Nigerians to make themselves available for the vaccination.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is real. We are still facing that challenge and therefore I urge all Nigerians especially those within the range specified by the health authorities and those at the frontline that we make ourselves available.
“Even though this is a voluntary thing but it is advisable that as many Nigerians as possible should take the vaccine.
“We need to go on more sensitisation and advocacy. We need to make this vaccine available in all areas, different crannies of this country. Let it not be limited to areas that are accessible only. We have areas that are not very much accessible in the riverine areas in the Niger Delta, in the northern most part of the country, the desertified areas.
“We need to reach out to the people. We should convince them. We should use the system that we have used before in getting our people vaccinated over the year. Our traditional rulers, our traditional institutions have played very significant roles in enlightenment. Our clergies. Our imams. This is something that we have to do because Nigeria is not an island. We are part of the global community.
“I believe that at the end of the day, we can only achieve the hard immunity that is desired if we are able to reach at least 70 to 75 percent of those that are supposed to be vaccinated in the country,” Lawan said.
The Senate President congratulated the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 for working so hard to ensure that the vaccine is available for Nigerians.
He however urged the PTF to get more of the vaccine and variety of it in addition to AstraZeneca.