By Fisher Jack
*If you missed it, the rollout of the first coronavirus vaccine began Monday morning as the first doses of the Pfizer medication were administered to health care workers and nursing home staffers.
And live on TV for the world to see – at 9:23 am – was an African American critical care nurse from Northwell Long Island Jewish Medical Center getting vaccinated.
“I want to instill public confidence that the vaccine is safe,” critical care nurse Sandra Lindsey told reporters after receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Her vaccination was also streamed live in an online event organized by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who reminded her that she “didn’t flinch,” either.
The ICU nurse became the first person in New York state and among the first people in the United States to receive the vaccine. The state of New York, like many others in the nation, is prioritizing frontline healthcare workers in its vaccine rollout plan.
“It’s going to be months before the vaccine reaches critical mass,” Gov. Cuomo said during the event. “The healthcare workers will get it first,” he added.
“I feel hopeful today, relieved. I feel like healing is coming.” Lindsey said. “I hope this marks the beginning of the end of a very painful time in our country,’ Nurse Lindsey continued before urging Americans to follow CDC safety guidelines:
“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 so soon. There’s light at the end of the tunnel but we still need to continue to wear our mask, to social distance. I believe in science.”
Following the emergency authorization use for the coronavirus vaccines, the CDC recommended healthcare workers be first in line to be vaccinated, followed by the elderly, and those with underlying conditions that have shown to be at risk for contracting and having complications from COVID-19.
Healthcare officials predict widespread vaccinations won’t take place until 2021.