A year of vaccines: Queens nurse who was 1st to get shot shares update, says ‘it’s not over yet’

Coronavirus

NEW YORK — It was one year ago Tuesday that Queens critical care nurse Sandra Lindsay became the first person in both New York and in the country to get the approved COVID vaccine.

In the year since, more than 230 million Americans have gotten at least one vaccine dose and almost 61% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated.

But Lindsay, while grateful for it all, says we’ve still got more work to do on the vaccination front.

Lindsay said she got the Pfizer vaccine and has already got her Pfizer booster shot. She told us that outside of some soreness in her arm, she had no other side effects from any of the doses.

The nurse also recalled some of what she dealt with as a nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Canter in Queens during the height of the COVID pandemic in 2020.

“‘Horror’ is an understatement,” Lindsay said. “During the peak of the pandemic, here at Northwell [Health], in all of our hospitals…we treated more than 230,000 COVID patients,” she added.

Lindsay said her hospital felt like the epicenter in both New York and the Northwell Health system.

“It’s a stark contrast, now, to where we were back then, although we’re still forward-facing with COVID patients. Not to the extent that we were, thankful for vaccinations, because I can not imagine the position we would be in right now if it wasn’t for vaccinations.”

The nurse said she wants people to know that it’s not over yet.

Plus, Lindsay shared her message to those who still are hesitant to get the COVID vaccine.

“First I want to find out from them what they know about the vaccines, because often times when you talk to these folks, they don’t really have a valid reason why they don’t want to get vaccinated,” the nurse said.

Lindsay said most of these people are either just scared, don’t want people telling them what to do or believing in misinformation.

“We need more people on board. We need to be unified in this cause,” the nurse said. “We see the data and we see that it’s not going anywhere, and it’s not going to go away without action,” she added.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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