Armed Forces to support vaccine rollout across Scotland

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British Armed Forces personnel administering vaccines in Scotland earlier this year. Photo by: Cpl Nathan Tanuku - UK MOD © Crown copyright 2021

Personnel will begin vaccinating on Thursday to support health boards across Scotland.

121 Armed Forces personnel will begin training tomorrow ahead of supporting health boards across Scotland, vaccinating members of the public from Thursday as the Covid-19 vaccine programme continues.

Personnel are a mix of healthcare professionals, vaccinators and support staff who will be helping 11 health boards and are expected to be on task until the beginning of December.

Support is being provided by personnel from across the three services – Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force. Some of those deploying on this task have previously supported the pandemic response across the UK including the Covid-19 vaccine rollout earlier this year and the distribution of PPE.

Brigadier Ben Wrench, Commander Joint Military Command Scotland said:

I am proud that members of the Armed Forces are again displaying their ability to react, adapt, and use their training to support the civilian authorities in Scotland.

The military’s continuing support to the fight against COVID-19 is a collaborative partnership built through the excellent relationship we have with the NHS and the other emergency services.

There are currently over 450 Armed Forces personnel supporting four Military Aid to the Civil Authorities (MACA) tasks in Scotland. These tasks fall under Operation Rescript – Defence’s efforts to support the UK’s response to the pandemic which began in March 2020. Other tasks include supporting the Scottish Ambulance Service with non-emergency drivers, delivering testing through mobile units and supporting hospitals in NHS Lanarkshire and Borders.

The Armed Forces have supported communities across the UK throughout the pandemic including planning support alongside resilience teams and governments, to ambulance drivers and health care assistants in hospitals as well as the vaccine rollout.

The Armed Forces stand ready to step up and support civil authorities, devolved nations and communities as required in the coming months where the requests meet the MACA principles.

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