NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The moment New Yorkers have been waiting for finally happened Monday morning.
Sandra Lindsay, RN, a critical care nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, received the first COVID vaccine dose in New York.
The shot was administered by Dr. Michelle Chester, director of Northwell Health employee health services.
WATCH: Nurse Receives First COVID Vaccine Dose In New York
Lindsay didn’t flinch. It was the first of two doses needed for the Pfizer vaccine to work.
“This is just a little part of what I can do to end suffering and pain and death,” said Lindsay.
The significance is more than a mere footnote – especially considering how the coronavirus has disproportionately impacted Black and Brown communities.
“My colleagues and my family have already been reaching out to me and say that now that they’ve seen me take it, they themselves will take it,” said Lindsay.
“This is a special moment, a special day. This is what everyone has been waiting for,” said Dr. Yves Duroseau, chair of emergency medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital, who received his shot next. “To hopefully see this is the beginning of the end of the COVID issue.”
Dr. Duroseau urged New Yorkers to continue to comply with safety measures like mask wearing and social distancing even as the vaccine begins to be deployed.
Critical care nurse Sandra Lindsay becomes the 1st person in the NY state to receive the #CovidVaccine. It’s important that black women are leading this historic moment after the impact #covid has had on communities of color and the need to instill trust in the vaccine. pic.twitter.com/4j6orAqwyg
— Aundrea Cline-Thomas (@AClineThomas) December 14, 2020
“I had someone in my family who I’ve lost dearly, a dear uncle, and I have someone right now currently in the hospital, family member. So this continues and the way to stop this is through the vaccination,” Dr. Duroseau said.
However, distrust of the vaccine in communities of color is rooted in a painful history – one which Lindsey acknowledges.
“I don’t feel like I’ve been used. I would say to them that this is different. It’s being offered across the spectrum,” she said.
A shot in the arm gives off the brightest glimmer of home.
“We’ve lost too many people and this is our saving grace at this point and time,” said Dr. Chester.
Two Black women, unflinching and unwavering, are at the forefront of our country’s healing.
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This is what heroes look like.
Sandra Lindsay, an ICU Nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, became the FIRST AMERICAN to get vaccinated in a non-trial setting.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) December 14, 2020
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“This is what heroes look like,” the governor wrote on Twitter, sharing a picture of Lindsay receiving the shot.
“Such a great day… I’m floating on air today,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. He called it “a beautiful moment,” adding he felt “an amazing sense of turning the corner.” He called it “historic.”
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris commented on Twitter, “Thank you, Sandra Lindsay, for all you have done for your country.”
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