Teams from the armed forces are being sent to the Vale of Glamorgan as part of plans to help ramp up Wales’s booster jab efforts.

A total of 98 armed forces personnel have been made available to support the Covid-19 vaccine booster programme in Wales. They’re expected to be split up into 14 teams and distributed across all seven of Wales’s health boards to help speed up booster vaccinations.

It comes after first minister Mark Drakeford confirmed plans to offer booster jabs to all eligible adults in Wales by the end of the year, with the new omicron variant of coronavirus continuing to pose a public health threat.

The Welsh Government had initially set a target of the end of January but shifted this to align with England’s target.

Those being deployed are a mixture of health care professionals and general duties personnel who will be working in support of NHS Wales staff and volunteers, administering vaccines and providing planning expertise.

The UK Government’s defence secretary Ben Wallace said: “We are now supporting this national priority Covid-19 vaccination programme in Wales, Scotland and England.

“Our armed forces are supporting our world class health services to accelerate the vaccine rollout and provide essential protection for people and communities. I urge anyone eligible to take up the offer of a vaccine.”

Secretary of state for Wales Simon Hart said: “It is critical that as many people as possible receive the vaccine in our fight against Covid-19 and I’m hugely grateful to the UK’s armed forces for supporting this effort in Wales as well as continuing to support the work of the Welsh Ambulance Service.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the military has stepped up to support health services across Wales with the distribution of PPE, construction of a temporary hospital in Cardiff and assisting community testing in the South Wales valleys, demonstrating the UK Government’s commitment to meet the needs of the whole of the United Kingdom.”