Arlene Foster told a press conference this evening of her pride in the UK for its work on turning the dream of a Covid vaccine into reality.
The DUP leader’s joint breifing alongside SF’s Michelle O’Neill and UUP health minister Robin Swann saw the latter tell reporters that an initial batch of about 25,000 jabs is destined for NI.
In a paraphrasing of Winston Churchill’s famous speech about turning the tide of war against the Nazis, Mr Swann said: “It’s the beginning of the end – it’s not the end.”
Mrs Foster said: “This does give us the road back to normality and I think everybody has been waiting for that.
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“I’m incredibly proud today that the United Kingdom has been able to do this and that we will all benefit from this vaccine coming.
“So we need to find a way out of this that brings recovery back to the United Kingdom, and to Northern Ireland of course in particular, and that’s what we’ll be working on in the weeks to come – as well as working on, of course, all of the logistical challenges on the rollout of the vaccine and mass testing.”
The vaccine, from US-based firm Pfizer (operating a large UK operation under the name Pfizer Ltd), was approved by UK scientists for use from next week.
She added: “It is the breakthrough that we have all been hoping for and praying for, this is our pathway back to normality. Back to a world where we can hug our wider family and friends, able to mark major life events together, both happy and sad, and where we can freely enjoy travel and leisure activities and work and socialise with colleagues.”
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