SAN MATEO (CBS SF) — Long lines in both directions kept people waiting in their cars along Saratoga Drive on Saturday heading into the San Mateo County Events Center to get a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine on the first weekend since all adults became eligible for the dose.
“It feels amazing, I’ve been waiting for this day. I fully believe in vaccines so I’m excited,” one woman said while in her car. “It’s worth getting in line. I would do it.”READ MORE: Oakland City Council Votes To Increase Police Staffing
The events center was one of multiple locations operating as a vaccine clinic in the county but because it did not require appointments, many people showed up hoping to get their booster without signing up in advance. Some said the line made them change their mind while sitting in their car.
“I was just driving by, I saw it online as a place offering vaccinations,” a man said on Saturday. “I don’t know, depends on the wait, but I’ll see if I find out what the wait is I might cut out and come during the week.”
Staff were directing traffic into the event enter from both directions of Saratoga Drive all day. They started to notify drivers around noon that the clinic could no longer accommodate anyone without an appointment.READ MORE: Bay Area Remembers 1941 Attack On Pearl Harbor That Changed America Forever
“The line is kind of long because we have a lot of people who are trying to get vaccines before Thanksgiving,” said Charlie Kelly, one of the traffic attendants helping drivers get through the line on Saturday. “Today is one of the most crowded days that we’ve seen.”
San Mateo County Health continues to encourage people to get the vaccine for adults and children, especially as the holiday season begins. Booster shots could be an important factor in avoiding a surge this winter by helping to get more residents the highest level of protection available, according to county staff.
“Numbers in terms of COVID cases are starting to climb, it’s not a hugely dramatic increase in the Bay Area but we’re seeing it elsewhere in the country and I anticipate that will happen in California and the Bay Area,” Dr. Anand Chabra told KPIX on Friday. He is the medical director for family health services with San Mateo County Health. “I think especially as we’re going to have potentially multigenerational groups meeting. Potentially large gatherings, weather getting a little colder, people may be indoors, I think all of those things really point us toward maximizing protection for everyone. ”
The lines only got longer as the day went on and by the afternoon, some drivers said they were told the next available day to try and get a booster dose without an appointment would be Tuesday. The county’s website directs residents to make an appointment on myturn.ca.gov.MORE NEWS: 'Prolific' San Francisco Retail Theft Suspect Back In Jail After New Arrest
“I have my 92-year-old mom here and we just want to get this done with,” another man said. He didn’t mind the wait and thought others should take the time to get a booster as well. “Come on down, get your shot and let’s get this over with.”