NEW YORK -- A critical care nurse was the first person in New York and among the first people in the United States to get a shot of the coronavirus vaccine authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Sandra Lindsay, an ICU nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, New York City, was administered the vaccine during a live video event at about 9:20 a.m. ET on Monday. Dr. Michelle Chester, the corporate director of employee health services at Northwell Health, delivered the shot.
"She has a good touch, and it didn't feel any different than taking any other vaccine," Lindsay said immediately afterward.
"I'm feeling well. I would like to thank all the frontline workers, all my colleagues who have been doing a yeoman's job to fight this pandemic all over the world," she said. "I feel hopeful today, relieved. I feel like healing is coming. I hope this marks the beginning of the end of a very painful time in our history."
Chester said the vaccine kit to administer the shot "worked perfectly." Lindsay and Chester, both Black women, were flanked on stage by Michael Dowling, the president and CEO of Northwell Health, who noted the regional hospital system has seen over 100,000 patients with Covid-19.
Though it lasted just seconds, the shot represents a pivotal moment in history: a symbol of scientific speed and rigor; of the crushing burden borne by health care workers; of New York's journey from its dark days as the epicenter of the pandemic; and -- with two Black women front and center -- of the renewed focus on issues of race and gender.
The vaccine is of course more than just symbolism. With the shot, and a second dose in 21 days, Lindsay will be able to more safely visit family, friends, colleagues and patients. Soon, so too will millions of Americans.
"This is a special moment, a special day," Dowling said. "This is what everybody has been waiting for."