NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The COVID-19 vaccine now offers a shot of hope.
More than 70 million doses have been administered across the country, but the rollout has been plagued with issues, delaying vaccination goals.READ MORE: Students Send Letters Of Appreciation To ICU Nurse Sandra Lindsay, Who Was First In US To Receive COVID Vaccine
CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas has more on the uncertainty and the optimism for the future.
It was the shot seen around the world. On Dec. 14, Queens ICU nurse Sandra Lindsay became the first person in the country, outside of clinical trials, to receive the vaccine.
It began the largest vaccination effort in history, and it has already come with plenty of obstacles.
Lindsay, of Long Island Jewish Medical Center, had no idea she volunteered to be in the history books.
“Protecting myself, the community, my patients, my family. Leading by example and also instilling public trust,” she told Cline-Thomas.
A YEAR IN THE PANDEMIC: REMEMBRANCE & RESILIENCE
- A Look Back On What’s Been Lost And How Tri-State Has Persevered
- Timeline Of Virus’ Swift Impact Across The Globe
- Long Island Nurse Who Documented Painful Journey Warns Fight Is Not Over
- Essential Workers Risk Their Own Safety To Keep Supplies And Services Running
- Area School Districts Continue To Make Best Of Tough Situation, Always With Eyes On The Future
- Daughter Looks To Carry On Father’s Legacy At Arthur Avenue Restaurant
- Unemployment Forced Many In Our Area To Reinvent Themselves, And Gain Perspective Along The Way
- Food Insecurity Grows Throughout Tri-State Communities, ‘The Face Of Hunger Has Changed’
- The Sports World Stopped, But Hope And Progress Are Beginning To Win The Days
- ‘Long Haulers’ Still On Long Road To Recovery, ‘A Complete Lifestyle Change’
- Vaccines Offer Shot Of Hope, Despite Ongoing Distribution Struggles
The medical community was first in line for what had become a long awaited scientific breakthrough.
“This never would have been possible without the volunteers who took a risk, and trusted us, and came in and were willing to help us find out if the vaccine was safe,” said NYU Vaccine Center physician investigator Dr. Rebeca Pellett Madan.
More than 1,000 New Yorkers volunteered to participate in NYU Langone’s various clinical trials that included the Pfizer vaccine. Their results added to similar trials around the world.
All of that before the FDA approved it for the general public.READ MORE: COVID In New Jersey: Newark Clergy Members Start Initiative To Get Members Of Black Community To Have Faith In Shots
But getting a safe and effective vaccine was just the first hurdle. Cumbersome online portals to make appointments, to limited vaccine supply lead to mounting frustration as eligibility widened.
- New York State book online here or call 1-833-NYS-4-VAX
- New York City book online here or call 877-VAX-4NYC
- Track NYC Vaccinations By Zip Code
- Nassau County more info here
- Suffolk County more info here
- Westchester County more info here
- New Jersey book online here or call 1-855-568-0545
- Connecticut book online here
The data across the Tri-State Area showed an alarming trend — Black and Brown communities hardest hit by COVID were the least likely to get the vaccine.
It was first blamed on hesitancy, based on years of mistrust of the medical community. But Rev. Dr. David Jefferson, of the Metropolitan Baptist Church in Newark, saw an ever bigger issue.
“We in particular do not have a ton of Walgreens and CVS in our community. But guess what we do have? We have churches,” he said.
After pressing state and local leaders, vaccines arrived at Metropolitan’s community center. Jefferson was among a coalition of pastors who rolled up their sleeves to show their faith in the process.
Now, Metropolitan has a waiting list of others ready to do the same.
Across the region, neighborhoods that were once hotspots are now beginning to be prioritized.
Meantime, the coronavirus is mutating into a more contagious disease and remains a threat. It creates an even greater sense of urgency to get more shots into people’s arms.
“Very likely the end of May, the beginning of June, when we will have many, many more doses of vaccines that you can actually give to people,” said Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci.
It’s the key to getting to a new normal.MORE NEWS: COVID Vaccine: Distribution Racial Disparity Stretches Well Beyond New York City's Borders
The FDA has approved Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine that’s effective at preventing serious illness and does not have the same refrigeration requirements as Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines. It’s been described as a game changer that will provide a much-needed boost to the supply.