Nurse in Queens Among First in U.S. to Receive COVID Vaccine as Nationwide Vaccinations Begin
A Queens critical care nurse has become the first New Yorker and is among the first in the United States to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine.
Sandra Lindsay, an ICU nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, was vaccinated on-camera on Monday morning. The historic moment was livestreamed on Twitter by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
"I'm ready. Let's do this," Lindsay said before she was given the shot by a healthcare worker just before 9 a.m. EST.
The entire room burst into applause after Lindsay received the vaccine.
"It didn't feel any different from taking any other vaccine," she said after, adding, "I hope this marks the beginning to the end of a very painful time in our history."
Gov. Cuomo, 63, celebrated the vaccination on Twitter, writing, "HISTORY. The first New Yorker, frontline nurse Sandra Lindsay, has been vaccinated. Healing is coming. Thank you, Sandra."
Pfizer's two-dose COVID vaccine was approved for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last Friday.
Approval meant that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine could begin to be distributed to people 16 years and older, marking "a significant milestone in battling this devastating pandemic that has affected so many families in the United States and around the world," FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., said in a press release.
The FDA also said that the "potential benefits outweigh the known and potential risks" and assured the public and medical community that "a thorough evaluation of the available safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality information" was conducted.
Gen. Gustave Perna said during a news conference on Saturday held by the FDA that the vaccine will arrive at 145 sites across the United States on Monday.
Another 425 sites are expected to receive the vaccine on Tuesday and the final 66 sites will receive it on Wednesday, completing the initial delivery of Pfizer vaccines.
Perna noted that the federal government will only be delivering half the doses, approximately 2.9 million, at this time as the Pfizer vaccine requires two doses.
In the U.S. alone, the contagious respiratory virus has infected more than 16.3 million people, and at least 299,328 people have died as a result of COVID-19 as of the morning of Dec. 14, according to data from the New York Times.
Vaccines will be free, thanks to a deal between Pfizer and the U.S. government to supply 100 million doses by March 2021, the New York Times reported. All 50 states have already submitted locations to which the vaccines can be shipped.
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