Nurse Sandra Lindsay reflects on 1-year anniversary of 1st COVID vaccine

NEW HYDE PARK, Nassau County (WABC) -- One year ago, the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine was administered in the United States.

It was given to Sandra Lindsay, a nurse for Northwell Health on Long Island.

Lindsay reflected Tuesday on the momentous occasion of getting the shot.

"It's the one-year anniversary and I'm feeling great, thank you!" Lindsay said. "We didn't know at the time that I would make history as the first person in the United States to be vaccinated. Since then, it's been somewhat of a whirlwind."

Lindsay said she went from being a director of nursing to a person thrust into the limelight.

"Right after the shot it was interviews and invitations to appear on different shows and platforms," she said. "I had the opportunity to be recognized at the White House by President Biden, went home to Jamaica, all that stuff this year, and met with the prime minister."

She continues to care for patients and manage her staff of nurses at Northwell Health.

"We're seeing folks come in, mostly unvaccinated, we do have patients that we are able to treat and release from the ED, in my critical care area today we have five or six patients and those are the sickest patients, unvaccinated patients, and younger patients," Lindsay said. She said during the peak they had more than 3,000 COVID patients across the health system and as of today they have 365.



She says easing fears and concerns surrounding the vaccine remains her true passion.

"I can't imagine where we would be if we didn't have this powerful tool to protect us. So encourage more and more people to protect themselves, and this is not just about you but your loved ones and the communities in which you live," she said.

Lindsay said she looks back on it all with tremendous pride and would do it all again in a heartbeat. She received her booster shot in October.

Right now in New York, roughly 30% of people are still not fully vaccinated. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said the unvaccinated are driving the current surge in cases.

"This is a crisis of the unvaccinated, did not have to be, totally preventable, so If I sound a little frustrated perhaps I am," Hochul said.

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