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The continued success of our Covid-19 vaccination programme will guide us to brighter days, the First Ministerhas said.

Mrs Foster was speaking during a visit to the vaccination centre at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald today.

596,527 people have now been vaccinated. Both doses of the vaccine have now been administered across all care homes. Over 40% of our adult population in Northern Ireland have now received a vaccine.

First Minister Arlene Foster said: “I am delighted to see at first-hand the truly life-saving work of our vaccines programme, which is currently running every day of the week, right across Northern Ireland.

“We are now well through the Phase 3 stage with 641,121 vaccines administered and the programme is accelerating. Later this month we will see the opening of the mass testing facilities at the SSE Arena, along with the inclusion of over 350 local pharmacies as part of a planned expansion. This gives us all the much-needed confidence that brighter days are close at hand.

“It is an opportune time to say a heartfelt thank-you to all of those involved in the programme, the organisers, vaccinators and volunteers for their dedicated service. It is down to their hard work and expertise that this programme has significantly surpassed targets to protect our citizens.”