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Long Lines Form Outside San Mateo Event Center COVID-19 Vaccination Site

SAN MATEO (KPIX) -- Lines of vehicles filled with people hoping to get a COVID booster shot or a vaccination dose for their children formed along the streets surrounding the San Mateo Event Center Saturday.

For some, the new omicron variant reinforced the need for the booster. Others wanted to make sure their holiday gatherings with friends and family remained COVID safe.

"I think it's important so we can move forward, I've looked at the data myself and I feel pretty confident in terms of the safety and yeah, I think it's the right thing to do," Jonathan Taylor said.

Taylor brought his son to get his vaccine. He had already gotten his booster.

The lines started to block intersections in the early afternoon but got smaller before the clinic closed for the day at 4 p.m. Some showed up thinking they could walk-up without an appointment, but they were turned away.

"I brought my mom, who is 85-years-old, and my sister, and my nephew, who need a booster," one woman said without any appointments for her family. "I guess we're going to have to go home, because there is no other way."

Chandra Kholia, who came with his son to the drive-up clinic, wanted to sense of security entering the holiday season.

"It's the holiday season and you have a festive season," Kholia said. "You don't know who doesn't (have vaccination protection), who's OK and who is not, and it's better to be safe then find out you're sorry later."

His son said he was fine after getting his shot and glad he got a dose of the vaccine.

"It's really important to get it so you can go to parties, and like concerts and all that," said Ayush Kholia.

Clinics like the one at the Events Center have helped San Mateo County maintain a vaccination rate above 80 percent for all eligible age groups.

If you focus on those 12 and older, the rate is around 92 percent in the county. The trend is similar in many Bay Area counties where overall, 80 percent or more of the population is fully vaccinated. For some age groups, the rate can reach 90 percent in certain counties.

"When you look at the bigger picture of the pandemic, when you look at the data, the vaccines are safe, and yeah I think it's important that everyone does their part so everyone can move forward as a community," Taylor said.

If you hope to get your vaccine at the San Mateo County Event Center, the health department asks that you make an appointment using the MyTurn website and look for available timeslots when the clinic is open Tuesday to Saturday.

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