Anonymous medic preparing coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine injection in Italy 060121 CREDIT PA
Coronavirus

Coronavirus: Military Deciding Which Personnel Should Be Vaccinated First

The Defence Secretary has said he expects it to be "a small group at first".

Anonymous medic preparing coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine injection in Italy 060121 CREDIT PA

The British military is establishing which service personnel will get "priority" to receive a coronavirus vaccination.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace was asked by SNP defence spokesman Stewart McDonald "exactly where" defence personnel working in response to COVID-19 stand in the queue for receiving a vaccine.

The Defence Secretary responded, stating: "None of our defence personnel have received a vaccination, they are not in the priority groups one to four.

"However, we are, as we speak… working out what key cohorts should be vaccinated in order to preserve and... underline... the nation’s defence, so obviously they will get priority, but I expect them to be a small group at first," Mr Wallace continued.

The number of Armed Forces personnel committed to COVID-19 operations has hit a record high, with a total of 5,300 servicemen and women currently committed to assist with winter and coronavirus tasks.

They are supporting 56 different operations across the United Kingdom and abroad, including the rollout of the coronavirus vaccines, as well as supporting the NHS and carrying out community testing across the UK.

Shadow defence secretary John Healey said the Government had been "too slow" to mobilise the Armed Forces to support the COVID-19 response.

Mr Wallace said the military "stand ready to do more if required", adding: "I could deploy all 100,000 soldiers tomorrow ready to vaccinate but if the stock isn’t there then we’ll have people not… we could employ them better off."

Cover image: PA.