Royal Navy medics are delivering hundreds of vaccine jabs to people in Bristol as part of the national effort to end the Coronavirus pandemic.
A six-strong team has been mobilised to to vaccinate NHS and key workers and people over 80 years-old at Ashton Gate Stadium, one of the UK's mass vaccination hubs.
The team underwent training last week and met Prime Minister Boris Johnson when he visited the facility on Monday, ahead of it’s opening the next day.
The mass vaccination centre is one of seven large-scale hubs established to deliver the vaccine in major concentrations of population.
Staff working in the centre consist of nurses, medical assistants and GPs who have been drawn from across the Navy and NHS hospitals.
They have been vaccinating roughly 800 people a day.
After immunising the priority cases, they’ll move on to delivering jabs to people over 70, then the over 65s.
Once their work is done in Bristol, the team will move on to vaccinate people in the Taunton area.
As the senior nursing officer aboard aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales, Lieutenant Lauren Hodges ensures her shipmates have all the correct jabs, vaccines and precautions for wherever in the world they are sent.
“This is probably my proudest moment – being part of a national effort to hopefully get ahead of Covid and get the country back to some form of normality” she said.
“The set up here is fantastic – really well organised, especially given the size of the operation and the speed with which it has been set up.”
Leading Seaman Nicole Ellis, normally an operating theatre nurse at Portsmouth’s Queen Alexandra Hospital, added: “It’s a great feeling to be part of a national effort and part of history.
Surgeon Lieutenant Ryan Dodd works in the sickbay at engineering training establishment HMS Sultan in Gosport and was at sea for most of 2020.
“I cannot stress how happy I am to be helping – although I was doing my duty with the Navy, it was hard to watch from the sidelines as friends and former colleagues were working hard through the pandemic” he said.
Cover image: MOD.