COVID: Military Personnel Boost Vaccination Effort In Wales

Armed Forces personnel are continuing to bolster coronavirus vaccination efforts in Wales as the country passes the milestone of one million jabs.

One in three adults in Wales have now received at least one dose of the vaccine - many administered by military medics, while many more personnel are involved in running the mass vaccination centres.

Thousands of military personnel have been deployed across the UK to assist with the pandemic in a range of roles since last year. 

At a leisure centre-turned vaccine hub in Barry, south Wales, one of those fighting COVID-19 on the home front is Squadron Leader Emma Daffey-Moore.

After previous deployments to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus and the Falkland Islands, she is now delivering jabs to the Welsh public near Cardiff. 

"They'll come forward and you'll hear a lot of stories about them being in the military previously," she said.

"We've worked very, very well with our NHS colleagues – we set up the place from the start together, and we work very effectively together, so it's all very positive."

Armed Forces personnel have helped carry out more than one million COVID-19 jabs in Wales.
Armed Forces personnel have helped carry out more than one million COVID-19 jabs in Wales.

The vaccination centre is planning to double its current daily intake of 650 people over the next week.

Russell Slade, former Cardiff City Football Club manager, is one of those to have walked through the door to see British military uniforms.

"It makes you feel safe and we know we're doing the right thing," said the 60-year-old who has also previously managed Charlton Athletic and Coventry City.

"For them to be here supporting it and showing that the process runs really smoothly and everyone's getting vaccinated in a really safe environment that's going to protect everybody is fantastic."

About 30 minutes away at a vaccine centre in Splott, Cardiff, RAF personnel have also been assisting, helping to sanitise public areas and guide members of the public around.

Sara Sturdy, Deputy Manager, Testing and Mass Immunisation Centres, said the service members, who range from fitness instructors to musicians, have become part of the "staff family" at the site.

Having now played their part for eight weeks, personnel are expected to continue their vaccination mission in Welsh centres for at least another month.

Earlier this year, it was announced the Armed Forces' response to COVID-19 had become the biggest ever homeland military operation in peacetime.

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