BOOSTER SHOT. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. receives his coronavirus booster shot at a vaccination site in SM Manila on Wednesday (Aug. 17, 2022). In his speech, Marcos said he decided to get the booster shot to prove that the vaccine is important to strengthen immunity against severe Covid-19 infection. (Department of Health photo)

MANILA – President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Wednesday received his booster shot against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Marcos received the additional dose against coronavirus during his attendance to the "PinasLakas" vaccine campaign at the Department of Health (DOH) vaccination site in SM City Manila.

In his speech, Marcos said he decided to get the booster shot to prove that the vaccine is important to strengthen immunity against severe Covid-19 infection.

"We will take our [booster] shot," Marcos said, adding that he wants to "show everyone that it is safe, it is effective, and it is needed."

Marcos was pre-screened by his attending physician before receiving the booster shot.

DOH officer-in-charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire administered the United States-manufactured Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine to Marcos.

Presidential son and Ilocos Norte Representative Ferdinand Alexander "Sandro" Marcos, who joined the event, also got an additional dose of Covid-19 vaccine.

The President expressed hope that he would not experience any side effects after getting vaccinated.

"The Usec (Vergeire) assures me that I will not lose any time from work," he said. "Nonetheless, kahit na may side effects, hindi na magiging malubha ang epekto ng Covid at lahat ng ibang mga variant sa atin kaya napakahalaga na magpa-booster shot (even if there are side effects, receiving booster shot is very important because the effects of Covid-19 and its variants will no longer be severe)," he said.

To recall, Marcos contracted Covid-19 twice -- the first one was at the height of the pandemic in 2020 and got infected anew in July this year.

Marcos said the Covid-19 booster shot campaign is vital to bring the "normal situation" in the country despite the prevailing pandemic.

"So, that really is the reason why I have come here today, to highlight the importance of booster shot," he said.

"It is safe, it is effective and it is needed, with us trying to open the economy, us trying to open the schools, trying to bring everything back to a normal situation, sa dami ng hinaharap nating problema (despite the problems we are facing)," he added.

Marcos also expressed gratitude to the medical front-liners for keeping the Filipinos protected against Covid-19.

"I thank all the health workers. As usual, you have been helping us, you have been saving our lives, mga (the) front-liner, for the last two and a half years. And so I want to thank you all for all the good work that you have done in the past two years, starting when Covid first came. And I thank you for the continuing work that you have done," he said. (PNA)