Military personnel have been called in to help accelerate the rollout of Scotland's coronavirus vaccine delivery programme.
More than 60 personnel from across the Armed Forces will deploy to the central belt of Scotland from Monday 7 June, assisting NHS Lothian and NHS Lanarkshire health boards in administering doses of the COVID-19 vaccines.
After a Military Aid to the Civil Authorities (MACA) request, 63 personnel – 42 to Lothian and 21 to Lanarkshire – including 54 who can administer vaccines, will be deployed to support Scotland's vaccine programme for up to five weeks.
Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack said it was "pleasing" to see the "fantastic" British Armed Forces "continuing to play a key role in keeping us safe and helping defeat COVID".
"Their deployment to the central belt next week will help with Scotland's vital vaccination programme and ensure an acceleration of jabs into arms.
"There is much to be hopeful about in the fight against COVID thanks to the UK Government procuring and paying for millions of vaccine doses for people in all parts of the UK and the dedication and professionalism of the NHS and our military," he added.
Working alongside NHS colleagues as part of Operation Rescript, the vaccination teams in the Lothian and Lanarkshire health board regions will be co-ordinated by the Joint Military Command (JMC) Scotland, under the command of Brigadier Ben Wrench.
Brig Wrench said: "I am proud that we in the Armed Forces can contribute towards this national effort, standing with and supporting the NHS to help protect the people of Scotland."
Throughout the pandemic members of the Armed Forces have been involved in supporting Scotland's coronavirus response by setting up vaccination centres, running asymptomatic testing, administering vaccinations, and providing logistics specialists and aircraft medical evacuation capabilities.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said earlier this year the Armed Forces have given Scotland's coronavirus efforts a "turbo boost".
Cover image: Military personnel administering vaccines as part of Scotland's COVID vaccination programme (Picture: MOD).