NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The story of a nurse in Queens, who became the first person in the country to get the COVID vaccine, resonated with a group of students several states away.

The students, who are being home schooled due to the pandemic, learned even more by reaching out to her, CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis reported Thursday.

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The moment Northwell Health ICU nurse Sandra Lindsay got the vaccine was one for the history books. It reached people across the country, including a group of friends in New Hampshire.

Since their school is remote, their parents decided to home school them. Father Keith O’Brien said this was a lesson in several subjects.

“We can talk about the science… Then we can talk about the current events, of course, and then we could write a letter to Miss Lindsay and practice our writing,” O’Brien said.


The seven students, ages eight to 12, shared their letters with CBS2.

“Dear Miss Lindsay, Thank you for taking the vaccine and inspiring people,” said 12-year-old Anya Moriarty.

“It was really cool that you’re the first person in America to get the vaccine,” said 8-year-old Reid Moriarty.

“I think you’re very brave,” said 10-year-old Graham Moriarty.

“You helped show people that this vaccine is trustworthy,” said 12-year-old Finley Carlson.

“You probably had a lot of pressure on you because the Governor of New York was watching you,” said 9-year-old Freja Carlson.

“We all thank you for being brave and sending a message to people that the vaccine is safe,” said 11-year-old Cal O’Brien.

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“I would also like to thank you for being an essential worker in these hard times,” said 12-year-old Hadley Carlson.


The children mailed their letters to Lindsay, which she received minutes before her second dose on Jan. 4.

“Thank you very much. It means a lot to me,” Lindsay said.

She surprised the children with handwritten letters back. Now, they’re getting the chance to meet face-to-face.

“It was so heartwarming to receive your letters,” Lindsay said on a Zoom call.

“When I heard that you responded to us like that, I was like completely blown away,” one of the students said.

They were quick to ask Lindsay about how she’s doing since the shot.

“I am doing well. No side effects after the first shot, not after the second shot,” Lindsay said. “With how people were suffering, dying in pain, I knew that I had to be a part of the solution.”

O’Brien said the kids learned the power of science by watching her get vaccinated.

“They learned to the power of words,” O’Brien said about the letters. “That’s a gift we will forever be thankful for.”

The kids and Lindsay hope they can meet in person sometime after the pandemic.

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Jenna DeAngelis