UK

Coronavirus: RAF Will Bring Vaccines To UK 'If Necessary'

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has said the military could help to distribute COVID-19 vaccines, which could be available before Christmas.

The Royal Air Force will be used to bring coronavirus vaccines to the UK "if necessary", the Defence Secretary has said.

Speaking at a COVID-19 testing site in Liverpool, where a mass pilot involving the British military has been taking place, Ben Wallace said the military could play a part in the distribution of vaccines, which could be available before Christmas.

"If necessary, the Armed Forces and RAF will be involved in bringing vaccines to the country," Mr Wallace said.

NHS workers are expected to administer the vaccines but military personnel are likely to have a role in the distribution, Mr Wallace added.

His words follow the health secretary saying last week that the Armed Forces and NHS are on standby to roll out a COVID-19 vaccine from the beginning of December. 

"Certainly the military will have a role in the rollout of the vaccine," Mr Wallace said.

"What exactly they're going to be doing in that is what we've been working on for the last few weeks and months.

British military personnel have been asked to stay in Liverpool for longer, as part of their role rolling out coronavirus testing (Picture: MOD).

"I should think the army will be involved in the logistics.

"I should think the army will be involved in some of the planning and the command and control which goes on behind the scenes for all these events, because I think that is the key."

The Defence Secretary also confirmed that soldiers are training care home staff in Liverpool to carry out coronavirus tests.

Personnel have been asked to stay in the city until December - an extension of their original two-week deployment.

Meanwhile, new data suggests a vaccine from US firm Moderna may be 94.5% effective against COVID-19.

Last week, Pfizer/BioNTech released interim study data suggesting their vaccine is more than 90% effective.