Sandra Lindsay, a nurse in the intensive care unit of Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, was the first person in the United States to receive the Covid-19 vaccine on Monday.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said, “We trust science here in New York. The federal government approved the vaccine. We then had a separate panel that also approved the vaccine and we’ve been following the science all along. I hope this gives you, and the healthcare workers who are battling this every day, a sense of security and safety and a little more confidence in doing your job once the second vaccine has been administered.”
Dr. Michelle Chester, director of employee health services, administered the vaccine, a two-part vaccination developed by Pfizer. New York State is receiving about 170,000 doses, with healthcare workers and staff and residents of longterm care facilities receiving priority.
Michael Dowling, CEO of Northwell, presided over the event, with Cuomo participating by screen.
“Today is V-Day in our fight against COVID-19,” said Michael Dowling, Northwell president and CEO. “This truly is a historic day for science and humanity, one in which we here in New York and across the United States have been waiting for quite some time.”
After receiving the injection, Lindsay said: “I feel great. It didn’t feel any different that when receiving the annual influenza vaccine. I would like to thank all the frontline workers, all my colleagues who’ve been doing a yeoman’s job to fight this pandemic all over the world. I feel hopeful today.
“I feel relieved. I hope this marks the beginning to the end of a very painful time in our history. I want to instill public confidence that the vaccine is safe. We’re in a pandemic and so we all need to do our part to put an end to the pandemic and to not give up too soon. There’s light at the end of the tunnel.”
Northwell received a limited supply of a few thousands doses — to be spread among eight hospitals — of Pfizer’s vaccine, which will require two injections 21 days apart. The vaccine has demonstrated 95-percent efficacy against infection with minimal side effects, and works on messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, which has been in development for several years. mRNA instructs cells in the body to make different proteins.
The arrival of the vaccine in New York and elsewhere around the country comes as the death toll from the virus rose to just under 300,000, with the epidemic expected to spread through the holidays.
Watch LIVE as the first person in New York gets vaccinated: https://t.co/a3p8QOtK6w
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) December 14, 2020