Hundreds of people lined up to get their COVID-19 vaccines and boosters Saturday in Escondido.
The location at Mission Middle School was chosen because the neighborhood has a high rate of infection and a low rate of vaccinations.
“We brought out the kids today for their second dose,” said Jon Haney, an Escondido resident.
Haney said he's already received his booster. Three of his four children received shots Saturday including 11-year-old Ellie.
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“It didn’t hurt at all really. It just felt like a pinch on my arm and it was over,” said Ellie Haney.
The Haney's made an appointment and got through the line quickly. Others just walked up to the vaccine site and waited in a long line. By midday, health care workers gave out so many shots, they ran low on syringes and had to go get more. Many people said they were motivated by the newest COVID variant.
“It’s a lot more contagious right now. It’s a lot easier to get the omicron variant. So, what’s happening right now with patients being aware of that, if they weren’t interested in getting the vaccine in the past, there’s a lot more interest now,” said Mario Osorno, Operations Manager with Neighborhood Healthcare.
Among the patients receiving a booster shot on Saturday was Jennifer Saldana. The recent college graduate came with her mother to get a booster.
“My little brother was a little hesitant but recently his wife and I got him to get vaccinated so I’m grateful for that,” said Saldana.
Saldana has first-hand experience with vaccine hesitancy in her family. She's especially motivated to get the shot, after spending the last two years of her college life at home.
“I would like to go to grad school and I would like to go back in person so the more people get vaccinated and take care of themselves the more likely I’ll be able to do that,” said Saldana.
A total of 596 vaccines were administered Saturday. The healthcare group will host another vaccine clinic in Escondido on Sunday, Dec. 18 at the Escondido Live Well Center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.