Coronavirus

Coronavirus: Armed Forces To Support Vaccine Rollout Across Wales

Military personnel are expected to be deployed to Wales until 28 February.

Armed Forces personnel will be deployed across Wales this winter to help set up and operate community COVID-19 vaccination centres, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has announced.

More than 90 military personnel will help set up additional vaccination centres and trained defence medics will also be administering the vaccine for the first time since the vaccination programme was rolled out earlier this month.

Personnel are expected to be deployed to Wales until 28 February.

Welsh Secretary Simon Hart said: "The rollout of the vaccine is a considerable logistical challenge, so we have approved the deployment of Armed Forces personnel to help with its distribution in Wales."

"The use of the military to help with this vital work shows how we can pull together to meet the needs of the whole of the United Kingdom as we tackle the pandemic.

"With case rates high across many areas of Wales, it is important that we continue to support the Welsh government.

"The huge number of vaccines that the UK Government has procured and the assistance of the Armed Forces in distributing them will help turn the tide in this fight," he added.

RAF personnel recently supported a mass testing scheme in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales (Picture: MOD).

About 14,000 personnel are currently held at graduated readiness as part of the Ministry of Defence's Winter Preparedness 2020 Package.

Defence Minister James Heappey said: "Since the beginning of the pandemic, our Armed Forces have stepped up to support health services across the UK.

"In Wales, our personnel have already helped with the distribution of PPE, construction of a temporary hospital in Cardiff and, most recently, the rollout of community testing in the South Wales Valleys.

"I’m pleased we can now support the vaccine roll out and I am proud Defence has responded quickly to support this urgent task."

Approved vaccines will be available across the UK, free at the point of delivery and according to need.

The Government has invested more than £230m into manufacturing a vaccine.

Cover image: RAF service member during a coronavirus testing scheme in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales (Picture: MOD).