Anonymous Army medic uniform sleeves
Northern Ireland

Army Medics Deliver 100,000 COVID-19 Vaccinations In Northern Ireland

About 100 combat medical technicians (CMTs) have worked at the vaccination centre at the SSE Arena in Belfast in recent months.

Anonymous Army medic uniform sleeves

Army medics administered an estimated 100,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine in Northern Ireland, the Ministry of Defence has announced.

About 100 combat medical technicians (CMTs) have worked at the vaccination centre at the SSE Arena in Belfast in recent months.

As personnel prepared to leave at the weekend, Health Minister Robin Swann, said: "You have been a welcome addition and provided much-needed relief and support at a time when our workforce faced huge challenges.

"Before you leave I want to put on record our thanks and my thanks for your efforts in supporting Northern Ireland's response to COVID-19 and the help that you have supplied by doing what you have done, so thank you."

It was the latest contribution by the Armed Forces in the pandemic in Northern Ireland in what has been described as the first public-facing, intimate assistance to the civil authorities since the end of Operation Banner in 2007.

Stormont made a series of military aid to the civil authorities (MACA) requests from the start of the pandemic.

Air Marshal Sean Reynolds, the RAF's senior representative in Northern Ireland, said it had been a gradual build-up for the response of the Armed Forces, starting with warehouses and real estate.

He described the vaccination team at the SSE Arena as the largest contribution, adding further assistance will be given in the future if needed.

"That's part of being in the Armed Forces and military, that notion of service – we're here to serve and we're here to do what we're asked to do," he said.

"People get involved with us to make a difference and the fact that we've been able to make a difference when we've been asked to help is hugely satisfying, and [is] also preventing people from getting sick.

"Where we have been asked to help then, with a mixture of regulars and reservists, we have placed people with specialist skills and knowledge into those areas.

"For the moment that is all we have been asked to do, but if we're asked to contribute and help in the future, then if we can, I'm sure we will," he added.