(CNN) — 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 a shot during a live video at about 9:20 a.m. ET Monday. She said the shot didn’t feel any different than any other vaccine.
“I’m feeling well. I would like to thank all the frontline workers and all my colleagues … doing their job during this pandemic all over the world,” she said.
“I feel hopeful today, relieved. I hope this marks the beginning of the end of a very painful time.”
People in a handful of other countries, including the United Kingdom, have received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine after their governments approved its use earlier. In addition, 21,720 people already received this vaccine as part of the Phase 3 trials that tested its efficacy. (Of those, there were only eight Covid-19 cases, compared to 162 cases among those who received a placebo.)
Still, Lindsay is the first person to get a shot of the vaccine now that the FDA approved it for emergency use and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the OK for it be administered to people 16 and older.
The first batch of the vaccine was shipped out from a Pfizer plant in Portage, Michigan, on Sunday headed for over 600 sites across all 50 states. The first deliveries arrived to the University of Michigan, George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC, and more locations on Monday morning.
BREAKING: Sandra Lindsay an ICU Nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens has become one of the first people in the US to receive one of the newly approved coronavirus vaccines. pic.twitter.com/CGcj593QKC
— KSL NewsRadio (@kslnewsradio) December 14, 2020
State and local authorities make their own decisions on who gets vaccinated and when. The CDC has recommended that frontline health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities get the vaccine first.
To be fully effective, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is given as two shots administered 21 days apart. A two-dose regimen of the vaccine has an efficacy of 95% in people ages 16 and older, though FDA briefing documents also note that the vaccine appears to provide “some protection” against Covid-19 after just one dose.
US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar plans to see some frontline health care workers get vaccinated at George Washington Hospital, he told NBC’s Savannah Guthrie on “Today.”
“If you are recommended to get it and it’s available for you, oh, please do get it. Protect yourself and protect those around you. Please get the vaccine,” Azar said.
The landmark arrival of the vaccine comes at a critical time. The US reported over 109,000 people hospitalized with Covid-19 as of Sunday, the highest number in the pandemic and the 12th consecutive day that more than 100,000 people have been hospitalized because of the deadly virus.
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How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus
COVID-19 coronaviruses transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:
- Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
- Wear a mask.
- Don’t touch your face.
- Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
- If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
- Get a flu shot.
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