OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — With the recent urgent plea for people to get their COVID-19 booster shots, free walk-up vaccination clinics are needed more than ever, especially as we enter the holiday season.

One such vaccination clinic in Oakland has reopened after its abrupt closure due to a shortage of vaccine and staff. Now, the site at 250 Frank Ogawa Plaza is in full operation again and it didn’t take long for word to get out.

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“I got my first shots in the spring and so now is the time especially with omicron to get the booster shot,” said Oakland resident Sean Sullivan.

The reopening couldn’t have come soon enough.

“You just never can be too safe with this new variant, it’s very alarming ,” said Sullivan.

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“It’s important,” said San Francisco resident Paul Haettenschwiller. “It’s part of overall taking care of business which is being vaccinated whether it’s one jab or three.“

Vaccinations, boosters and COVID testing seem to be part of many people’s holiday to-do list. The no-appointments-necessary is a big draw for many who can’t seem to land an appointment online.

When asked if he was going to change any of his holiday plans Haettenschwiller said, “Absolutely not. “I’m vaccinated right now and right now I’m outside not wearing a mask but I’m going to adhere to anything that’s required indoors.”

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And with holiday travel and gatherings along with the emergence of the omicron variant, health professionals say easy access to vaccines, boosters and testing is critical.

Juliette Goodrich