Mask off! Well, not yet.
But Long Island, New York and America took a giant step toward normalcy Monday morning when a nurse on Long Island became among the first to receive the Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine.
Northwell Health President and CEO Michael J. Dowling stood alongside Sandra Lindsay, a critical care nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, who was seated as a doctor injected the dose.
“I feel great. It didn’t feel any different from receiving my annual influenza vaccination,” Lindsay said later during a Northwell Health news conference. “I am proud to be in this position to promote public confidence in the safety of the vaccine.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo witnessed the historic event via a live video conference, and spoke to the nurse on broadcast television. He asked Lindsay if she’s feeling well, and she replied she’s feeling fine.
“I would like to thank all the frontline workers, all my colleagues who’ve been doing a yeoman’s job fighting this pandemic all over the world,” Lindsay said, moments after getting the vaccine shot in her left arm.
Healthcare workers across Long Island will receive the vaccine this week.
Cuomo and Lindsay encouraged others to get the vaccine, which was approved in record time through the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, a $14 billion program.
“This signifies hope, healing (and) restoration of public health and public safety,” Lindsay said.
Cuomo noted that “It’s going to take months before the vaccine takes critical mass.”
“This is a light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s a long tunnel,” he added.
The governor and the nurse also pleaded with people to continuing wearing masks, maintain social distancing and practice other safety measures while the vaccine, and others to follow, do their work across the U.S.
Northwell Health video