Omicron: Extra 100 armed forces personnel to support vaccine rollout in Scotland

An additional 100 Armed Forces personnel have been made available to accelerate the vaccine rollout in Scotland

The latest batch of support takes the total personnel supporting vaccine rollouts in Scotland to 221 amid a wave of Omicron infections.

121 personnel have been supporting the vaccine programme across Scotland since early October, with a further 100 soldiers expected to be on task until the end of February 2022.

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Alongside supporting the accelerated vaccine programme, 114 Armed Forces personnel are driving ambulances in support of the Scottish Ambulance service.

An additional 100 armed forces personnel have been rallied to accelerate the vaccine rollout in Scotland.

The Military of Defence have announced that this support will be extended until the end of March, with 96 personnel remaining on task to provide the service.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:“Our Armed Forces continue to tirelessly support the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Scotland to give people and communities vital protection against this virus.

“This uplift in support will help to get more vaccines into arms faster, working shoulder to shoulder with the dedicated health services.”

The 221 personnel supporting the vaccine programme includes health care professionals and general duties personnel who will be working in support of NHS Scotland staff and volunteers, administering vaccines and providing planning expertise.

Personnel on task come from units across the three services – Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: “Once again our fantastic British Armed Forces are stepping up in times of need to help tackle Covid-19 in Scotland and across the UK and I pay tribute to them.

"The deployment of a further 100 personnel will make a significant contribution to getting people vaccinated in Scotland. As the festive season approaches, when we want to spend time with loved ones, it's more important than ever to be protected. I urge everyone to book their jabs as soon as they are eligible.

"The military has been front and centre in communities here from the very start of the pandemic - and will continue to be so amid a surge in Omicron infections. With 221 personnel assisting the vaccine effort, another 114 driving ambulances and others providing further support to the NHS in Scotland, we are incredibly fortunate in the UK in having such committed, skilled and willing Armed Forces to support us in such challenging times."

There are now 398 personnel available to support on Operation Rescript tasks in Scotland, the operational name given to Defence’s work to support the pandemic response across the UK. This includes around 60 personnel supporting NHS Lanarkshire hospitals.

Brigadier Ben Wrench, Commander Joint Military Command Scotland said: “Whether it be responding to the impacts of storms or national health crises, the members of our Armed Forces are always prepared to deploy at short notice to support the nation and our communities.

“I commend the dedication of all those serving and supporting this effort, many of whom will find themselves away from their families and loved ones this Christmas and Hogmanay.”

134 soliders were recently sent to Scotland to carry out checks on vulnerable people and isolated communities as a result of Storm Arwen.