NEW YORK – The coronavirus vaccine arrived in the United States on Monday morning as the death toll topped the grim milestone of 300,000 lives.
A critical care nurse was the first person in New York and among the first in the country to get a shot, which was officially authorized by the Food and Drug Administration last week. Sandra Lindsay, an ICU nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, New York was administered the vaccine at 9:20 am ET on Monday morning.
“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.”
The vaccine represents an important moment in history as it could prove to be the moment that so many doctors, nurses, and all healthcare workers have been waiting for. Patients who get the shot will get the first one and wait for a second dose in 21 days.
The United States becomes the latest country to get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, including the United Kingdom after their governments approved its use earlier. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he may get vaccines sooner rather than later.
“As soon as my turn comes up, which likely will be very soon, I’m going to be available to get vaccinated publicly so that people can see that I feel strongly that this is something we should do, and hopefully that will encourage many more people to get vaccinated,” he told MSNBC.
On Sunday, the U.S. reported over 109,000 people hospitalized with the coronavirus, the highest number in the pandemic and the 12th consecutive day that more than 100,000 people have been hospitalized.