Human Interest Sheryl Sandberg's Father Receives COVID-19 Vaccine: 'There Were Tears' "My father, a doctor in Florida, got the COVID-19 vaccination this morning," Sheryl Sandberg wrote on Instagram on Tuesday By Gabrielle Chung Published on December 15, 2020 11:25 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Sheryl Sandberg/instagram. inset: getty images Sheryl Sandberg's father Joel, who is a doctor in Florida, has become one of the health care workers across the United States to receive a vaccine for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The Facebook chief operating officer, 51, shared the news of her dad's vaccination on her Instagram on Tuesday, writing, "My father, a doctor in Florida, got the COVID-19 vaccination this morning. He wrote on Facebook how there were tears in his eyes — and there are tears in my eyes as I write this." Alongside a picture of her father getting the shot, Sandberg thanked the doctors in her family as well as "all the healthcare workers who risk their lives daily to take care of us." "As my father shared, vaccinations are the only hope to protect all of us," she wrote. "I hope and pray that people will understand this and take the steps they need — including vaccination — to protect themselves and everyone else so this pandemic will come to an end." Great British Bake Off Judge Prue Leith Receives COVID-19 Vaccine The Lean In author also posted what her father had shared on his Facebook about the vaccination experience, in which he said the injection "didn't hurt" and he was "even smiling under the mask." "Every doctor I know says they will get the vaccine," he wrote, according to Sandberg's post. "I encourage anyone who is hesitant to know that the vaccine is safe and 95 percent effective. If enough people get vaccinated, we can end this scourge. In the meantime, follow CDC guidelines to wear masks, keep social distance, and wash hands frequently." The FDA issued an emergency use authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine on Friday and its distribution across country began over the weekend. RELATED VIDEO: Nurse in Queens Among First in U.S. to Receive COVID Vaccine in Livestreamed Administration On Monday morning, a Queens critical care nurse became the first New Yorker to receive the coronavirus vaccine. Sandra Lindsay, an ICU nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, was vaccinated on-camera. The historic moment was livestreamed on Twitter by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. "It didn't feel any different from taking any other vaccine," she said after receiving the shot. "I hope this marks the beginning to the end of a very painful time in our history." As of Tuesday, there have been more than 16,638,900 COVID-19 cases and 302,300 deaths from coronavirus-related illnesses in the United States, according to a New York Times database. As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.