NYC nurse is first in the nation to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Posted On Mon, December 14, 2020 By

Posted On Mon, December 14, 2020 By In Policy

Photos by Scott Heins/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

This morning, Sandra Lindsay, an ICU nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, received the first COVID-19 vaccine in the nation. She received the Pfizer vaccine, which was approved by the FDA on Friday, following which the first shipments arrived in New York City. “I feel like healing is coming and 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,” said Ms. Lindsay.

Shortly before 9:30am this morning, with Governor Cuomo joining the monumental occasion virtually, Northwell Health Director of Employee Health Services Dr. Michelle Chester administered the vaccine to Ms. Lindsay.

In a statement, Governor Cuomo said, “We trust science here in New York. The federal government approved the vaccine. We then had a separate panel that also approved the vaccine and we’ve been following the science all along. I hope this gives you, and the healthcare workers who are battling this every day, a sense of security and safety and a little more confidence in doing your job once the second vaccine has been administered.”

Ms. Lindsay was able to receive the vaccine as a patient-facing, healthcare worker. The state’s first phase of distribution is prioritizing high-risk healthcare workers–emergency room workers, ICU staff, and pulmonary department staff–followed by nursing home residents and staff.

The state expected to receive 170,000 doses initially, followed by another 170,000 doses later this month or early next month, as the Pfizer vaccine requires two doses three weeks apart. Last week, the governor released a preliminary breakdown of how this shipment would be allocated across New York’s ten regions.

As Gothamist reported today, in a press conference with Mayor de Blasio, NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi said that five New York City hospitals will receive the Pfizer vaccine today, with another 54 receiving doses on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The vaccine from Moderna, which requires two doses four weeks apart, is expected to be approved by the FDA this week. With the two vaccines combined, New York City expects to receive a total of 465,000 doses over the next three weeks.

The FDA’s Pfizer decision made the United States the sixth country to approve the vaccine, following Britain, Bahrain, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico. Pfizer reached a deal with the U.S. government to provide 25 million doses by the end of the year and 100 million doses by March, as the New York Times reported.


All photos by Scott Heins/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

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