'This was quite an emotional experience!' - Thanks to Covid vaccination teams from the people they have treated

Inside the vaccination centre at Batchwood Hall.

Inside the vaccination centre at Batchwood Hall. - Credit: Archant

As we continue the roll-out of the biggest vaccination programme in the history of the NHS, recipients of the jab have lavished praise on the organisation, staff and volunteers involved.

The Herts Advertiser has been inundated with comments from those people who have been vaccinated at different centres in Herts over the past few weeks, all overwhelmingly positive about the process.

The outside of the Harpenden vaccination centre.

The outside of the Harpenden vaccination centre. - Credit: Richard Nichols

Lib Gorton said lessons had obviously been learned at Batchwood Hall following teething problems in the first few days, and she was extremely impressed by the organisation.

"There was no queue, we were in and out in under 25 minutes including the post-vaccination wait.  The staff were unfailingly cheerful and when my friend commented to a volunteer that due to adverse reports wed been expecting a long wait she replied that they were learning all the time and were now much better prepared."

Harpenden Trust volunteers at the town's vaccination centre.

Harpenden Trust volunteers at the town's vaccination centre. - Credit: Richard Nichols

Harpenden resident Andrew Farnham went to Stevenage for his jab: "I duly arrived at the appointed time, was provided with a wheelchair for my colleague and someone to push it for me and was soon directed through to the waiting area.  Another very brief wait to register our details then into the innoculation area followed by a 15 minute session to check that all was well. The system was very efficient and all the staff we encountered went out of their way to be helpful."

A Harpenden Trust volunteer at the vaccination centre at Harpenden Public Halls.

A Harpenden Trust volunteer at the vaccination centre at Harpenden Public Halls. - Credit: Richard Nichols


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Sue and John Beasley wanted to give thanks to those working at Harpenden Public Halls: "We hope we shall not be the only ones asking you to use your columns to thank those who gave up their time and put themselves at risk to man the vaccination centre. It was excellently organised and splendidly staffed, and very much appreciated."

Inside the vaccination centre at Harpenden Public Halls.

Inside the vaccination centre at Harpenden Public Halls. - Credit: Richard Nicols

WR Shankland echoed these sentiments: "I am moved to express my praise to Harpenden Health PCN and Harpenden Trust volunteers for their Covid vaccination operation at the public halls. We oldies were completely looked after and guided from arrival at the drop-off point all the way to the rest room afterwards. I was even advised when I should call my daughter to be collected!
"This was quite an emotional experience. Super job! Thank you all!

Inside the vaccination centre at Harpenden Public Halls.

Inside the vaccination centre at Harpenden Public Halls. - Credit: Richard Nicols

Judy Hamblin said she had been worried about the vaccination before going along, but her mind was put at ease by those involved in delivering the jab: "I had my first vaccination at the Public Hall in Harpenden despite some misgivings as I’ve previously not had good reactions to the various flu jabs.

A Harpenden Trust volunteer at the town's vaccination centre.

A Harpenden Trust volunteer at the town's vaccination centre. - Credit: A Harpenden Trust volunteer at the town's vaccination centre.

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"However I must congratulate the three surgeries and all the staff involved, including the Harpenden Trust  ushers and all other helpers.

"It’s an incredible achievement to have organised all this so quickly The atmosphere was upbeat and so far after seven hours I’m still OK! So fingers crossed and many thanks."

Inside the vaccination centre at Harpenden Public Halls.

Inside the vaccination centre at Harpenden Public Halls. - Credit: Richard Nicols

David Josephs, chair of Hitchin and Harpenden Labour Party, also wanted to reflect on what he'd seen at the Public Halls as a marshall with the Harpenden Trust.

"The vaccinations were given by our wonderful NHS staff, meanwhile volunteers organised superbly by the Harpenden Trust helped to reassure people, and lead them to the right place at the right time.

"There were smiles - even if behind masks! -  happy exchanges, and a palpable sense of hope, something which has been sadly lacking for so many of us over the last 10 months. There was a real sense of community.

"It was a privilege to spend a couple of hours making a tiny contribution to this effort as a marshall. It may have been a dark, drizzly, windy and grey old day in January, but I can honestly say I haven’t felt such joy for months. Well done to everyone involved."

The vaccination centre at Harpenden Public Halls.

The vaccination centre at Harpenden Public Halls. - Credit: Richard Nicols

St Albans-based Communities 1st and its partners have been busy recruiting volunteers to support both the Batchwood Hall vaccination centres and school Covid testing.

Over 2,400 volunteers have now signed up and it is expected that a further 3,000-4,000 volunteers will be needed over the coming weeks as more vaccination centres open up.

Anyone who would like to volunteer in a non-clinical role can sign up here: www.communities1st.org.uk/covidsteward

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