Sandra Lindsay, an ICU nurse has become the first New Yorker and American to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19.
Lindsay, received the jab at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, marking the start of the largest vaccination campaign in US history.
As another nurse administered the vaccine, Lindsay received applause on a livestream with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
New York State and its Big Apple City was the early epicenter of the pandemic.
America had since become the world’s epicentre of the virus, with infections over 16 million and death toll above 300,000, one fifth of the world.
“This is the light at the end of the tunnel. But it’s a long tunnel,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said as he watched Lindsay’s vaccination via video.
Minutes after Lindsay’s injection, US President Donald Trump sent a tweet: “First Vaccine Administered. Congratulations USA! Congratulations WORLD!”
For Lindsay: “It didn’t feel any different from taking any other vaccine.
“I feel hopeful today, relieved. I feel like healing is coming. I hope this marks the beginning of the end of a very painful time in our history. I want to instil public confidence that the vaccine is safe.”
Shipments of precious frozen vials of vaccine made by Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech began arriving at hospitals around the country Monday.
Northwell Health, the largest health system in New York, operates some of the select hospitals in the United States that were administering the country’s first inoculations of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine outside trials on Monday.
The vaccine, developed by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, won emergency-use approval from federal regulators on Friday after it was found to be 95% effective in preventing illness in a large clinical trial.
The first 2.9 million doses began to be shipped to distribution centres around the country on Sunday, just 11 months after the United States documented its first Covid-19 infections.
Several other countries, such as UK, Canada, Saudi Arabia have also approved the vaccine.
The UK began its vaccination last week Tuesday.
*with agency reports