By Maria Cid Medina

SAN MATEO (KPIX) — A rush for the COVID-19 vaccines and boosters before the holidays caused one clinic in San Mateo County to turn away 180 patients because the staffing couldn’t meet the demand, a spokesperson confirmed Tuesday.

Preston Merchant told KPIX that the Monday night vaccine clinic at the San Mateo Medical Center had to be canceled hours before its 4:30 p.m. opening when they realized there was a staffing shortage. Merchant said that all 180 patients were notified and rescheduled to a future date.

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He said a third party vendor, HR Support was in charge of the clinic. He added that he wasn’t concerned of a repeat of the situation in the future.

At the San Mateo County Event Center Tuesday night, a steady stream of cars lined up with many people wanting to get the vaccine or booster ahead of Christmas and New Year’s.

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“We’re seeing a lot of people that we know with double vaccinations that are contracting COVID,” one couple told KPIX5. “With mild symptoms, but we still don’t want to get COVID.”

Many said they didn’t want the virus to get in the way of another holiday. Last year, vaccinations were not yet readily available and many families spent the month apart.

“We’re going to Mexico so we’re going to visit family,” said one woman at the event center who was in line with her father to get his first dose. “It’s important so we can be with our family this holiday.”

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The Centers for Disease Control has said that mixing and matching vaccines is safe, and in some cases can produce a higher immunity response. It takes two weeks for the doses to be fully effective.