COVID-19: New York ICU nurse becomes first American to be vaccinated

A New York intensive care nurse has become the first person in the US to be vaccinated against coronavirus.

Sandra Lindsay was given her first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine by Dr Michelle Chester at the Long Island Jewish Medical Centre in Queens on Monday.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo watched via videolink as the critical care nurse got her jab.

He said Ms Lindsay was the first person to get a COVID-19 vaccine in the state of New York – and “the first person in the United States” as shipments arrived on Monday.

Three million doses will be given out as part of the first wave of US vaccinations, with healthcare workers and care home residents first in line.

Asked how she was feeling after the vaccine, Ms Lindsay said: “Great. I feel hopeful today, relieved.”

Mr Cuomo thanked the nurse and Dr Chester “for everything you’ve done for all New Yorkers through this pandemic”.

He said: “I know how horrific it was. It was the modern-day battlefield. You put your fear aside and you stepped up every day.”

The governor added that it was right the first vaccination took place in Queens, describing it as the “epicentre” of the first wave in the spring.

Hospitals in the area were forced to build temporary morgues as coronavirus deaths spiralled out of control in March and April.

But Mr Cuomo said on Monday: “This vaccine is exciting. I believe this is the weapon that will end the war. Now we just have to do it. We’re all with you.”

Around another 400 US sites will get their doses of the vaccine on Tuesday and Wednesday after the regulator approved it for emergency use.

America’s death count is currently the highest in the world – approaching 300,000 with 16 million cases.

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