A Black woman who works as a nurse in the intensive care unit of a New York City hospital was the first in her state and one of the first in the nation to get the novel coronavirus vaccine.
Sandra Lindsay is a critical care nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in the Queens borough of New York City. Just after 9 a.m. Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, Lindsay was administered the shot by Dr. Michelle Chester, the corporate director of employee health services at Northwell Health, according to Spectrum News NY1.
It was not lost on television and social media audiences that Chester is also a Black woman.
Breaking: A critical care nurse in Queens, Sandra Lindsay, is the first New Yorker to be vaccinated in a non-trial capacity after the first doses of Pfizer’s vial arrived at Northwell Health this morning. “It didn’t feel any different from taking any other vaccine,” Lindsay said. pic.twitter.com/KSaYEQUTHE
— Spectrum News NY1 (@NY1) December 14, 2020
“It didn’t feel any different than taking any other vaccine,” Lindsay said as she emerged from the televised event.
“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.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who watched the proceedings virtually, personally paid homage to Lindsay.
“I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for what you do,” Cuomo said to Lindsay in the video split-screen, according to NY1. “When they use the word heroes, we don’t mean that lightly; we mean it deeply and sincerely. What you do showing up every day, you really are heroes.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joined Cuomo in saying that this brief but momentous occasion hopefully signals the turning point in the war against the worst communicable virus in America since the Spanish Flu more than 100 years ago.
“The vaccine will be given out from this day forward, from this day forward the vaccine will be distributed, and we will turn the tide of the coronavirus. Today is a day to celebrate,” de Blasio said, according to the television station.
“When I saw the needle go into the nurse’s arm I just felt this welling up of hope, an amazing sense of we’re actually turning the corner. It’s actually here.”