Over the past few weeks we have run a number of stories about our vaccination heroes.
Vaccinating tens of thousands of people across Powys is a huge undertaking involving huge numbers of people and teams from all areas. We have already published stories on community transport, facilities teams, volunteers, estates team, administration teams, military support, pharmacy team and others, but now it is time to talk about the vaccinators themselves.
With three Mass Vaccination Centres across Powys we have a small army of vaccinators working in shifts to ensure as many people as possible are vaccinated safely as quickly as possible.
I’ve been lucky enough to meet a number of vaccinators and talk to them about what it’s like to be part of something so momentous.
Two of our vaccinators are Helen Protheroe and Sarah Pritchard. They talked a little about what it’s like to be a vaccinator.
Helen explained: "We have both been vaccinating people against COVID from the beginning back in December. I find it extremely rewarding to be delivering the vaccine to people who are really pleased to be here. This is the nice end of COVID. I have worked in the testing centres and have seen how worried people get so being able to deliver their protection is really rewarding. For many people this is the first time that they have been out for a long time so they are extra pleased.”
Sarah said: “This is one of those roles where everyone is pleased to see you. Even those that have travelled a fair distance to get here are really understanding of the process and the need for the vaccine to be delivered in Mass Vaccination Centres. Although we are the ones giving the vaccine it really has been a team effort. From the volunteers right through the other teams everyone has been great and really worked well together.”
I then met with three more vaccinators, Cath, Val and Jane.
Jane explained: “I’m a team-leader today, helping to manage the team but I’m normally a vaccinator. I’ve been part of the vaccination team from day one back in December and it’s been great to support so many people. I was a Practice Manager for 30 years before retiring so have given a lot of vaccines over the years, but never anything like this! When people come for their vaccine, some are a little anxious and it’s great to be able to comfort them. For many it’s like their birthday and Christmas have come at once!”
Val went on to tell me: “I’m normally a school nurse but was redeployed to the vaccination team in January. I really enjoy it and it’s going well. There are loads of us in the team and we are all doing our bit to deliver the vaccine. Some of the people coming for their vaccine are concerned because they have read some of the false information on social media about the vaccine. It’s really nice to be able to reassure them and help get them protected.”
And Clare said: “I retired as a practice nurse a couple of years ago and came to live in Powys to run a BnB. When the vaccination programme started I was really keen to get involved and offer my skills. People are so grateful when they come for their vaccine. It’s quite humbling to think that you could be saving their life by doing this. Some of the people coming in haven’t been able to leave their homes in a year, being part of what helps them to get out again is just the best feeling in the world.”
There are so many people involved in delivering the vaccine and it would be fantastic to meet them all. But our heartfelt thanks go out to everyone for everything that they do.
Find out more about the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Powys from our website.