Watch as the First Vaccine Shots Are Administered in the US

It’s finally happening!

Sandra Lindsay, left, a nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, is inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by Dr. Michelle Chester, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, in the Queens borough of New York. Mark Lennihan/AP

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On Monday morning, a critical care nurse in Queens became the first person in New York—and among the first in the country—to receive a dose of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine. At the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Sandra Lindsay was greeted by a round of applause. “It didn’t feel any different from taking any other vaccine,” she said. “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. We’re in a pandemic and so we all need to do your part, and to not give up so soon.” 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo livestreamed the historic moment and compared the fight to control a pandemic that has taken the lives of almost 300,000 people in the United States alone to a modern-day battlefield. “I believe this is the weapon that will end the war. It’s the beginning of the last chapter of the book,” Cuomo said.  

Over the weekend, the first trucks transporting the Pfizer vaccine left a manufacturing facility in Michigan after the Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency authorization on Friday night for its use in people 16 years of age and older. Health care workers and nursing home staff and residents are expected to be the first in line for vaccination. 

In Ohio, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine also celebrated the administration of the first round of doses in two different hospitals, each of which received 975 doses on Monday. 

The good news comes as a relief after the US recorded a grim milestone last week, which was the deadliest since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March. But the massive undertaking of the first phase of the most ambitious immunization campaign in US history that involves distributing the first batch of almost three million doses to hundreds of centers across the country has only just begun. On MSNBC, Dr. Anthony Fauci estimated that by the beginning of April people with no underlying conditions should get vaccinated. “At the end of the day, the real bottom line is when do you get the overwhelming majority of the population vaccinated so you can get that umbrella of herd immunity,” he said. 

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