A critical care nurse who has treated COVID-19 patients in hard-hit New York City became the first person in the state to receive the vaccine.
On Monday, Dec. 14, Sandra Lindsay, an intensive-care-unit nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, New York, became the first person in the US to publicly receive a coronavirus vaccination when she got her first of two Pfizer shots as part of a campaign to inoculate front-line health care workers.
The United States kicked off a mass vaccination drive Monday hoping to turn the tide on the world’s biggest coronavirus outbreak, as the nation’s death toll passed a staggering 300,000.
The start of the desperately awaited vaccine program coincided with several European countries announcing new lockdowns amid spiraling infections, highlighting how the road to ending the global pandemic is still long.
“It didn’t feel any different from taking any other vaccine,” Lindsay said after Dr. Michelle Chester, the director of employee health services at Northwell Health, gave her the jab.
“I feel hopeful today, relieved,” Lindsay said. “I feel like healing is coming. I hope this marks the end to a very painful time in our history.”
Shortly after her vaccine was administered, President Donald Trump tweeted: “Congratulations USA! Congratulations WORLD!”
Sandra is far from the first person in the US, or the world, to receive Pfizer’s shot.
Pfizer tested this vaccine on more than 20,000 people in months of clinical trials that included thousands of American participants. On Friday, after reviewing safety and efficacy data from those trials, the US Food and Drug Administration authorized the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use in the US. It had already been authorized for use in the UK, Bahrain, and Canada.
“I want to instill public confidence that the vaccine is safe,” Lindsay added. “We’re in a pandemic, and so we all need to do our part.”