First COVID-19 shot recipient in US now a vaccine activist
She became a vaccine celebrity by accident.
Since being hailed as the first person in the United States to get a COVID-19 vaccine, New York nurse Sandra Lindsay has become a prominent face in the country's biggest-ever vaccination campaign.
She has been promoting the shots on panels, in Zoom town halls and at other events.
“I encourage people to speak to experts who can answer their questions, to access trusted science. I let them know that it’s OK to ask questions,” said Lindsay, who has spoken at events in the U.S. and Jamaica, where she is from.
Lindsay got her shot in a widely televised moment on December 14 of last year as the U.S. was kicking off its vaccination effort. After getting emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration just days earlier, the first shipments of COVID-19 vaccines had been arriving at hospitals for high-risk health care workers.
It was a tough time for Lindsay, who saw the impact of COVID-19 up close at Northwell Health’s Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens.
“I just felt broken, defeated, just tired and burned out,’’ said Lindsay, director of critical care nursing at the hospital. “Witnessing the overwhelming loss of lives, loss of livelihoods.’’
Northwell Health said it asked for volunteers to get the shots, and that Lindsay “happened to go first" among those who raised their hands. The moment was aired on TV, and she became widely regarded as the first American to get the shot outside of a clinical trial.
Since then, Lindsay has been recognized by President Biden as an “Outstanding American by Choice,” a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services program that recognizes citizens who have been naturalized.
With the arrival of the omicron variant and new surges around the country, Lindsay's still addressing...