With the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, New York inoculated its first healthcare worker, an intensive care unit nurse in Queens, on Monday, marking a pivotal turn in the U.S. effort to control the deadly virus.
At the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, New York, an early epicenter of the country’s COVID-19 outbreak, the vaccine was given to Sandra Lindsay, an ICU nurse, receiving applause on a livestream with Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York.
President Donald Trump sent a tweet minutes after Lindsay’s injection, saying “First vaccine administered. Congratulations USA! Congratulations WORLD!”
“It didn’t feel any different from taking any other vaccine,” Lindsay 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. I want to instill public confidence that the vaccine is safe.”
Northwell Health, New York’s biggest health system, runs some of the select hospitals in the United States that on Monday administered the country’s first inoculations of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine outside of trials.
The vaccine developed by Pfizer and its German affiliate BioNTech, obtained emergency-use clearance from federal regulators on Friday after a major clinical trial showed that it was 95 percent successful in preventing disease.
The first 2.9 million doses started to be sent to delivery centers across the country on Sunday, just 11 months after the United States reported its first COVID-19 infections.
The United States had reported 16,286,343 cases and 299,489 deaths from the virus as of Monday.