ITV News Health Editor Emily Morgan reports on the latest Covid developments from Royal Preston Hospital
For the first time since the Delta coronavirus variant has taken off in the UK, my team and I have been into a Covid ward.
It is also the first time we’ve been into a hospital since a sizeable number of the population has been vaccinated.
What, then, did we find? In truth, it was pretty much as expected but that doesn’t mean it was any less mind boggling.
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust has around 60 Covid patients at the moment and it has been steadily climbing.
More than 60% of them - who are in intensive care and on acute wards - haven’t been vaccinated. It’s such a large figure, it’s almost incredulous.
There are fit and healthy people in their 30s on ventilators. These are people who are eligible for the jab, decided not to have it (for whatever reason) and are now fighting for their lives.
We’ve heard the warnings from scientists and ministers for months now but seeing the impact of not getting the vaccine is no less shocking.
"I just didn't think I was going to get it", Darren, who's 28-years-old, urges everyone to get the Covid vaccine
I spoke to 28-year-old Darren, who caught the virus from a colleague in the pub.
He's not anti-vaccinations, he just thought he wouldn't get it badly and didn’t think he’d need the jab.
He's spent the last two nights in intensive care. He's on a ward now but is still very ill and not in a good way. His message? Get the vaccination.
On the flip side I have also met a patient who was double jabbed.
She was in her 50s, had lung disease and would, her consultant said, normally be in the at risk category.
"I am 100% sure if I didn't have the vaccine, I would be in a very different position," Helen, who is being treated for Covid at Royal Preston Hospital, tells ITV News
Although Covid ended her up in hospital, she didn’t get that ill and is on her way home today.
She said the vaccine saved her life.
"I was double vaccinated in December due to underlying health problems.
"We were told at the time it wouldn't be 100% which I accepted whole-heartedly - any protection is better than none.
"I didn't hesitate to have the vaccine and I am 100% sure if I didn't have the vaccine I would be in a very different position," she added.
I would say two things struck me today. Patients are much younger and most are unvaccinated.
Medics at Preston Hospital are worried about the next few weeks, since 'Freedom Day' will no doubt bring in more patients, but their main message today is that getting vaccinated with save lives.
You can’t say it more simply than that.