A New York nurse who has treated COVID-19 patients has become the first person in the United States to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine.
On Monday, Sandra Lindsay, a critical care nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, was vaccinated shortly after 9 a.m. local time during a press conference with New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Per Cuomo’s office, the Queens essential employee is the first person in the U.S. to get vaccinated other than those who participated in the drug manufacturers' clinical trials.
Here is a look at the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine being given to frontline workers in Queens, New York. pic.twitter.com/FdivfD0MvZ— MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle (@RuhleOnMSNBC) December 14, 2020
HISTORY.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) December 14, 2020
The first New Yorker, frontline nurse Sandra Lindsay, has been vaccinated.
Healing is coming.
Thank you, Sandra.
After Lindsay received the shot, the entire room burst into applause.
"It didn't feel any different from taking any other vaccine," she was quoted saying via People. "I feel hopeful today. Relieved.”
“I hope this marks the beginning to the end of a very painful time in our history,” the health care staffer added.
Cuomo, who watched Lindsay’s vaccination remotely, said, “This is the light at the end of the tunnel. But it's a long tunnel."
On Monday, NOLA.com reported that Debbie Ford, chief nursing officer at Ochsner Health, became the first person to get vaccinated in the state of Louisiana. Gov. John Bel Edwards was photographed looking on while wearing a face mask.
"It gives me a great sense of hope," Ford told the outlet. "We were getting all these patients, we’re taking the very best care of them, but in the back of your mind, there was no vaccine, there was no real cure. Today, I just feel hopeful, like I can take a deep breath."
On Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the two-dose vaccine for emergency use after an advisory panel of independent experts voted 17-4.
On Sunday morning, the first shipments of the vaccine — which will first be administered to medical workers and residents of assisted living facilities — left Pfizer's facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and was delivered to all 50 states the next day.
At a press conference Saturday, Gen. Gustave Perna, who is in charge of logistics for the federal vaccine program, said the vaccine would arrive at 145 sites across the United States on Monday, and another 425 sites on Tuesday. The final 66 sites are expected to receive the vaccinations on Wednesday.
Per The New York Times, Pfizer struck a deal with the U.S. government to supply 100 million doses of the vaccine by March 2021. The agreement also says that shots will be free to the public.