As the Covid-19 vaccine program proceeds, 121 Armed Forces personnel will begin training tomorrow in preparation for aiding health boards across Scotland and vaccinating members of the public beginning on Thursday.
Personnel will consist of a mix of healthcare experts, vaccinators, and support workers who will assist 11 health boards and will be on the job until the beginning of December.
Personnel from all three services — the Royal Navy, Army, and Royal Air Force – are assisting. Some of individuals assigned to this mission have previously assisted with the pandemic response in the UK, including the Covid-19 vaccine deployment earlier this year and the distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Brigadier Ben Wrench, Commander Joint Military Command Scotland said:
I am proud that members of the Armed Forces are again displaying their ability to react, adapt, and use their training to support the civilian authorities in Scotland.
The military’s continuing support to the fight against COVID-19 is a collaborative partnership built through the excellent relationship we have with the NHS and the other emergency services.
There are currently over 450 Armed Forces personnel supporting four Military Aid to the Civil Authorities (MACA) tasks in Scotland. These tasks fall under Operation Rescript – Defence’s efforts to support the UK’s response to the pandemic which began in March 2020. Other tasks include supporting the Scottish Ambulance Service with non-emergency drivers, delivering testing through mobile units and supporting hospitals in NHS Lanarkshire and Borders.
The Armed Forces have supported communities across the UK throughout the pandemic including planning support alongside resilience teams and governments, to ambulance drivers and health care assistants in hospitals as well as the vaccine rollout.
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 principle