The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) in the UK is assisting the National Health Service (NHS) to tackle vaccine-related challenges as the government seeks to ramp up inoculations to stop the spread of Covid-19.

A group of scientists and technicians are engaged in the development of data science and computing models for the NHS England IT system.

These models will help in determining vaccine population estimation, vaccine phasing and provide with regional planning tools to streamline vaccination.

Dstl Dr Kit Waterman said: “It has been a privilege to contribute to one of the nation’s largest logistical feats at this critical time.

“Modelling the phasing and delivery of the vaccine has proved an intellectually challenging and rewarding experience, and the opportunity to work with colleagues from across Dstl has really brought home the versatility and quality of skills developed through the delivery of science and technology support to UK defence.”

An executive agency of the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), Dstl has been working to support Covid-19 response efforts, as well as in building a scientific understanding of the disease.

Overall, 300 scientists were associated with hundreds of Covid support areas, while 180 of them are currently working on multiple assignments.

Projects included offering providing safety guidance for military personnel, ensuring proper functioning of military equipment supply chains as well as providing scientific support to other agencies.

Dstl chief executive Gary Aitkenhead said: “Dstl has helped to widen the government’s scientific understanding on the spread of the pandemic, we’ve supported the national health response and are helping to increase the understanding of the virus.”

Recently, it was reported that the UK had deployed around 800 troops to support targeted Covid-19 testing efforts in the Greater Manchester region.