The Federal Government on Saturday, March 6, suggested that getting COVID-19 vaccination could become a requirement for all international passengers.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Mr. Boss Mustapha, who said some countries have already started introducing restrictions for receiving visitors.
He spoke in Abuja at an event where President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo received their first doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
Mustapha stated that no one would be able to travel without being vaccinated in the coming months.
“I think vaccine hesitancy would have to give way to the reality,” he said.
He added: “Because the truth about it, Your Excellency, is that very soon, nobody will be able to travel the world unless you produce the certificate that we have been given.
“I have not confirmed but reliably, some countries have started putting restrictions on receiving visitors, even exercising activities of their faith without a COVID-19 vaccination.
“So the word that is going out there, on behalf of Mr. President, is that Nigerians should make themselves available, those that are eligible in the first set of the deployment, because the deployment is going to be in four phases, to receive these vaccines.
“They have been tested. Our most strategic leadership has received them this morning. They are safe, efficacious and it is for the good and well being of our people.”
Meanwhile, Buhari described his decision to take the vaccine in public 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,” he said.
He urged all state governments, traditional and religious leaders, to take the lead in the mobilization effort within their environment and spheres of influence.
He said: “The vaccine offers hope for a safe country, free of Coronavirus.
“I similarly urge all eligible Nigerians to present themselves and be vaccinated in accordance with the order of priority already mapped out, at the various authorised designated centres only.”
He congratulated the PTF on COVID-19 on the successful multi-sectoral approach to the management of the pandemic, and also commended state governments, donors, development partners, the private sector, traditional and religious leaders as well as critical stakeholders who have supported Nigeria’s response to the pandemic.
He pledged that all the resources will be equitably administered.