98 personnel have been made available to support the Covid-19 vaccine booster programme in Wales. Armed Forces will be working to support the Department of Health and Welsh Government to accelerate the vaccine rollout amid a wave of Omicron infections.
The personnel will make up 14 teams of vaccinators who will provide surge support to increase capacity. Those deploying are a mixture of health care professionals and general duties personnel who will be working in support of NHS Wales staff and volunteers, administering vaccines and providing planning expertise.
Personnel will deploy to all seven Health Boards in Wales, with two teams assigned to each board.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:
We are now supporting this national priority Covid-19 vaccination programme in Wales, Scotland and England.
Our Armed Forces are supporting our world class health services to accelerate the vaccine rollout and provide essential protection for people and communities. I urge anyone eligible to take up the offer of a vaccine.
Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said:
It is critical that as many people as possible receive the vaccine in our fight against Covid-19 and I’m hugely grateful to the UK’s Armed Forces for supporting this effort in Wales as well as continuing to support the work of the Welsh Ambulance Service.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the military has stepped up to support health services across Wales with the distribution of PPE, construction of a temporary hospital in Cardiff and assisting community testing in the South Wales valleys, demonstrating the UK Government’s commitment to meet the needs of the whole of the United Kingdom.
Personnel on task come from units across the three services – Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force. Some personnel have been active on other tasks in Wales since the pandemic began including community testing and PPE delivery.
There are now 227 personnel available to support on Operation Rescript tasks in Wales, the operational name given to Defence’s work to support the pandemic response across the UK.
Support is being provided through the Military Aid to the Civil Authorities (MACA) process. Since March 2020, Defence have responded to over 440 MACA requests across the UK.
The Armed Forces stand ready to step up and support civil authorities, devolved nations and communities as required in the coming months where the requests meet the MACA principles.