- The first person to be publicly vaccinated against the coronavirus in the US was an intensive-care-unit nurse from Queens, New York.
- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo livestreamed the event on Periscope on Monday.
- “I feel like healing is coming,” the nurse, Sandra Lindsay, said after she got her first shot. “I hope this marks the end to a very painful time in our history.”
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Sandra Lindsay, an intensive-care-unit nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Centre in Queens, New York, on Monday became the first person in the US to publicly receive a coronavirus vaccination when she got her first of two Pfizer shots.
“We’re here to watch you take the first shot,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said as he livestreamed the vaccination on Periscope.
“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 Lindsay’s vaccine was administered, President Donald Trump tweeted: “Congratulations USA! Congratulations WORLD!”
Lindsay 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 authorised the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use in the US. It had already been authorised for use in the UK, Bahrain, and Canada.
“I want to instill public confidence that the vaccine is safe,” Lindsay said. “We’re in a pandemic, and so we all need to do our part.”
US cases are rising
The US continues to tally thousands of coronavirus deaths every day in an outbreak that has spiraled out of control. The virus is among the leading causes of death in the country, with 299,000 lives lost since the pandemic reached the US.
“The mortality concerns are real,” Dr. Robert Redfield, the CDC director, said recently. “And I do think, unfortunately, before we see February, we could be close to 450,000 Americans [who] have died from this virus.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci and other leading health experts have stressed that roughly 70% to 80% of the population will need to be vaccinated against this virus before herd immunity can be achieved.
“There’s light at the end of the tunnel, but we still need to wear our masks, to social distance,” Lindsay said.
“As a nurse, my practice is guided by science, and so I trust science. What I don’t trust is that if I contract COVID, I don’t know how it is going to impact me or those who I come in contact with. So I encourage everyone to take the vaccine.”
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