Army could be drafted in to deliver ‘moonshot’ vaccination drive at empty NHS Nightingale hospital sites – as government’s screening advisers say they’ve NOT been consulted
- Officials say soldiers are needed to dish out the tens of millions of jabs to public
- Troops may be deployed to the NHS Nightingale hospitals and other public sites
- NHS bosses have been tasked with creating vaccination plans by end of October
- Government screening advisers say they’ve not been consulted over ‘Moonshot’
James Gant – Mail Online Sept 12, 2020
The Army could be drafted in to deliver a ‘moonshot’ vaccination drive at empty NHS Nightingale hospital sites, it has emerged.
Officials believe soldiers are needed to dish out the tens of millions of jabs to the public when a vaccine is ready.
Troops could be deployed to the makeshift hospitals – which have been empty since the first Covid wave ended – and other public buildings.
Health service bosses have been tasked with creating these vaccination plans by the end of next month in case a vaccine is ready in the winter.
It comes as the government’s screening advisers said they have not been consulted over Boris Johnson’s ambitious Operation Moonshot.
The Prime Minister is hoping to carry out ten million tests a day by early next year including DIY pregnancy-style kits which turn around results in 15 minutes.
Sources told the i GPs and chemists do not have the resources to hand out the huge number of vaccinations that will be needed to tackle the coronavirus.
But it is believed the NHS would thrash out a Military Assistance to Civil Authorities (MACA) to the British Army to get help.
Soldiers would also be needed to assist with moving vaccines across the country, as well as refrigerating and storing them an potentially defending them from sabotage.
And army medics could also work with NHS nurses to administer the jabs, which is a harder task than the current Covid-19 swab test.
It would not be the first cooperating between the military and NHS during this crisis as the Army was deployed for the setting up of the NHS Nightingale sites in March.
There are plans being considered for a ‘dry run’ before a vaccine is found, where soldiers would assist with the dosing out of the annual flu vaccine.