Virgin Atlantic staff have signed up to assist the NHS and St John’s Ambulance service in the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine across the UK. 

The airline is working to secure voluntary and paid opportunities for its staff at NHS mass vaccination centres and local facilities in a bid to support the national effort and save lives.

The NHS is offering a fast-track application process for Virgin Atlantic employees, all of whom will undergo rigorous training before being deployed to administer the vaccine, work in patient welfare and manage the logistics of the vaccine centres.

This comes after the government published plans to rapidly scale up the Covid-19 vaccination programme, with aims to vaccinate at least two million people every week at over 2,700 vaccine sites in the UK.

Since the onset of the pandemic, Virgin Atlantic staff spanning cabin crew, pilots, ground and office-based teams have supported the health services. Many of the carrier’s employees, including those with medical training, have been furloughed by the carrier as part of the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, using this time to offer their skills to support the health services.

Corneel Koster, Chief Customer and Operating Officer at Virgin Atlantic, commented:

“We are very grateful to the NHS for everything they are doing in extremely challenging circumstances. The mass vaccination programme is the only solution to beating this pandemic and we’re committed to help in any way we can, to support gearing up vaccinations as fast as possible.

“We are very proud of our highly skilled people at Virgin Atlantic and since the beginning of the crisis we have received an amazing response with hundreds keen to sign up and support the NHS and frontline emergency services. 

“Our people undergo rigorous training programmes in their roles which include medical, safety and customer service training and the NHS recognises the value and experience they will bring to this crucial mass vaccination programme.”  

Additionally, the airline is also ready to transport Covid-19 vaccines and pharmaceutical products to the UK and around the world on its global network, introducing a ‘Pharma Secure’ service for “all urgent, valuable and vulnerable shipments”.