Coronavirus

COVID Vaccine: Military Could Be 'Doing Injections' By February

The Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told Forces News that 111 personnel are involved in the planning of the rollout.

The Defence Secretary says the military could be giving COVID vaccinations by February.

Ben Wallace told Forces News that 111 personnel are already involved in the planning, and expects that by next month, some personnel will be delivering the vaccine.

"I suspect that [by] the time we get to February, there'll be some military doing injections," he said.

"We'll have combat medics available to do it - if we are asked to do it, we can do it."

The UK has approved the vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca and has begun to use it in addition to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, approved before Christmas.

On Thursday, the Prime Minister said the military would be using "battle preparation techniques" to keep up the pace of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout across the UK.

Mr Wallace said: "At the moment we’ve got 21 teams of about six people for vaccination standby quick reaction force, but we've got plans to grow that to over 250 teams around the country and even more, if necessary.

"Those people will be combat medics and doctors, who could deliver up to 125,000 to 150,000 injections a day, if need be, and that’s a major amount of contribution over a week if we’re trying to really step it up."

The Defence Secretary added that the military needs to be there to meet increases in demand up and down the country to "provide the safety net" and extra skills.

"We’ll just get on and do it and we’ll do it 24 hours a day and we can do it seven days a week if we’re asked, and that is the unique nature of these very special men and women," he said.