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DUP East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson has welcomed confirmation from Major General Charles Stickland CB OBE, Assistant Chief of Defence Staff that the MoD has deployed personnel in Northern Ireland to examine the logistics of rolling out the vaccine.

These comments were made during an evidence session at the Defence Committee in Parliament.

Mr Robinson said,

“This deployment in Northern Ireland is welcome news. Whilst only exploratory at this stage and to consider the logistics of rolling out the vaccine, it is critically important that Northern Ireland is ready to get the vaccine to the frontline staff and vulnerable people as soon as it becomes available.

Rolling out the vaccine, will be a matter of life and death for people who are vulnerable but also for the frontline staff who, if they are laid aside because of covid-19, are unable to perform their role in the health service and then in turn patients cannot get treated for non-covid illnesses.

As Major General Stickland indicated to the Committee, at the end of this assessment there may be a conclusion that there is no need for help from the military, but it is very reassuring that these logistics experts are already engaged.

At a time when the Department of Health in Northern Ireland is warning of staff shortages, all help should be warmly received.”