Nurse prepares to administer Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Western General Hospital, in Edinburgh 081220 CREDIT PA
Coronavirus

COVID: The Military's Role In UK's Mass Vaccination Programme

Armed Forces personnel are helping the NHS to roll out a COVID-19 mass vaccination programme.

Nurse prepares to administer Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Western General Hospital, in Edinburgh 081220 CREDIT PA

The British military is engaged in a battle against the coronavirus, confirmed as the biggest ever homeland military operation in peacetime.

Armed Forces personnel are rolling out a COVID-19 mass vaccination programme, alongside the NHS, as well as administering injections themselves.

Royal Navy medics have been delivering hundreds of vaccine jabs to people at Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol, with forces personnel also giving veterans vaccinations.

Twenty Vaccination Quick Reaction Force mobile teams containing six military healthcare experts have deployed to support UK vaccinations, with an additional 21 teams now available for short notice deployment.

There are also military planners deployed to assist the Vaccine Task Force in Skipton House, plus hundreds of other personnel working across the UK to support the logistical elements of the Vaccine Deployment Programme.

WATCH: Logistics of COVID vaccination programme 'unparalleled in scaled and complexity'.

There has been 90 personnel in Wales supporting the operation of vaccine centres – including some supporting the administering of injections, and 88 Royal Scots Dragoon Guards troops building vaccine sites.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the Armed Forces would be using "battle preparation techniques" to keep up the pace of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

The British Army officer responsible for coordinating the military's support to the coronavirus vaccination programme said earlier this month the logistical task has been "unparalleled in its scale and complexity".

Brigadier Phil Prosser, Commander of Military Support to the Vaccine Delivery Programme, added his team is "embedded" with the NHS.

He said his "day job" is to deliver combat supplies to UK forces in time of war, adding: "My team are used to complexity and building supply chains at speed in the most arduous and challenging conditions."

As part of the Ministry of Defence’s Winter Preparedness Package, about 12,000 personnel have been held at graduated readiness.

Cover image: PA.