I've just come back in this evening from a visit to the Venue Cymru Ysbyty Enfys/Vaccination Centre in Llandudno.
I was visiting with the new Chief Executive of Betsi Cadwaladr and the members of the Conwy and Denbighshire team responsible for community care, and the centre operation.
*** JOIN ME LIVE WEDNESDAY 13TH JANUARY AT 7PM HERE, TO ASK YOUR VACCINATION QUESTIONS ***
The team at Venue Cymru delivered over 850 vaccinations today between 8am and 8pm. In fact this centre, here in our town, has delivered more vaccine doses than the whole of France!
Typical queueing time for those attending was no more than a few minutes. The early delays came in part from people coming up to two hours early for their appointment.
We followed the vaccine from the fridge where it was stored, to the cubicles where it was administered.
Things were really well organised - traffic lights, one way systems, careful recording and more.
We heard how the system worked - both the "push" and the "pull" factors (for those who know how systems work!)
The RAF were there supporting with logistics, planning and on the front door. Volunteers in blue shirts moved around helping, directing, carrying, clearly an integral part of the effort. And theatre and council staff in hi-viz vests, were there to greet, to guide and to get those little essential tasks done that keep everything running.
Overall, in the nearly three hours I was there, speaking to staff and volunteers, medics and administrators, it was clear that these local operations are orderly, smooth and professional.
What I saw and heard was real pride in what everyone was doing. A real concern for those they were helping and an eagerness to deliver more. As one person said to me "We know these people. They are our friends and family. It's our own community we're helping."
(In fact, one of the team showing me round had been at school with my sister - and works today, with a school friend of mine. Small world!)
Meeting with the team afterwards the talk was of plans to ramp up capacity and double the delivery in coming weeks. The plan in place now will hit the UK wide targets (here in Aberconwy and across North Wales) of reaching Priority Groups 1-4 by mid February.
There is no shortage of supplies - "our" allocation is held centrally in Wales. At the moment the Pfizer vaccine is being delivered and as that throughput ("run rate") increases, the AZ vaccine will be released and come on stream. They are certainly eager to deliver more here.
There is also space to expand current operations. The discussions were about opening more cubicles and the practicalities of longer opening times. People are being trained as fast as possible to achieve all this - but they will need recruiting and effective allocation.
As one of the team said "When this started we were learning and catching up - now we are ahead and asking for more."
I thanked all those I met for what they were doing - this pandemic has taken its own special toll on the lives of those who have helped us the most. Although they have targets and are working hard, they are not cogs in a machine. They are flesh and blood and get tired, feel emotion - pride and frustration - like we all do.
And I felt privileged and proud of what I saw happening here.
It's a huge effort. Thank you all.
We'll get through this