The UK Government has announced that additional military personnel will be deployed in Scotland to support Covid-19 vaccination programme.

A total of 81 armed forces personnel, comprising 57 staff for front line duties and 24 logistic support staff, will reach Scotland to support the National Health Service (NHS).

Medics and management staff will form a Vaccine Quick Reaction Force of five teams with ten members each. The teams will support NHS staff in delivering the vaccine.

Deployment will begin immediately with some expected to start administering vaccines.

Notably, the Joint Military Command in Scotland already has 98 members of the Fife-based Royal Scots Dragoon Guards for establishing 80 vaccination centres and supporting inoculations.

Logistic support staff, mostly from Edinburgh-based 3rd Battalion The Rifles, will support in running vaccination centres in Grampian, Dumfries and Galloway, Borders and Lothian.

Minister for Covid-19 vaccine Deployment Nadhim Zahawi said: “Our armed forces are playing an invaluable role in helping ensure those most at risk get their jabs, working side by side with healthcare staff in a truly UK-wide effort.

“We are distributing the vaccine as quickly as possible across all parts of the UK and almost ten million people have now received their first dose.”

The armed forces have been involved in supporting Scotland’s response to the pandemic since March last year.

More than 5,200 military personnel are deployed across the UK to support around 80 different Covid-19 related tasks.