NEW YORK – On Monday, New York’s Sandra Lindsay, an intensive care unit nurse, who has treated some of the sickest COVID-19 cases for months, became the first person in the U.S. to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
“It didn’t feel any different from taking any other vaccine,” Lindsay 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. I want to instill public confidence that the vaccine is safe.”
NY Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted the below photo of Lindsay as she received the injection at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, saying “This is what heroes look like.” President Trump also wrote a tweet marking the ocassion: “First Vaccine Administered. Congratulations USA! Congratulations WORLD!”
This is what heroes look like.
Sandra Lindsay, an ICU Nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, became the FIRST AMERICAN to get vaccinated in a non-trial setting.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) December 14, 2020
2.9 million doses of the vaccine, which is 95 percent effective against the virus, began being shipped to distribution centers around the country on Sunday. The first shipments shipped out of Pfizer’s facility near Kalamazoo, Michigan, packed into trucks with dry-ice to maintain the necessary minus 70 Celsius (-94 Fahrenheit) temperature.
They were transported to UPS and FedEx planes waiting at air fields in Lansing and Grand Rapids. The vaccines are being transported to 636 vaccine-staging areas across the country over the next few days.
“This is the most difficult vaccine rollout in history,” U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams told Fox News on Monday. “There will be hiccups undoubtedly, but we’ve done everything from a federal level and working with partners to make it go as smoothly as possible. Please be patient with us,” Adams said, adding that he would get the shot as soon as he could.”
The U.S. reached more than 16 million confirmed COVID-19 cases on Monday and is projected to surpass 300,000 deaths from the virus.