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Front-line nurse first in New York to get COVID-19 vaccine

December 14, 2020 GMT
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Sandra Lindsay, left, a nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, is inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by Dr. Michelle Chester, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, in the Queens borough of New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, Pool)
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Sandra Lindsay, left, a nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, is inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by Dr. Michelle Chester, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, in the Queens borough of New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, Pool)

NEW YORK (AP) — A critical care nurse who has treated COVID-19 patients in hard-hit New York City became the first person in the state to receive the vaccine Monday as part of campaign to inoculate front-line health care workers.

Onlookers applauded after a doctor gave registered nurse Sandra Lindsay the injection at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens.

“I feel hopeful today. Relieved,” Lindsay said after the injection, which was livestreamed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. “I feel like healing is coming. I hope this marks the beginning of the end of a very painful time in our history.”

Cuomo, who watched remotely, called it the first shot given in the state’s effort vaccination effort. Health care workers at other facilities in the city and beyond were also getting the shots Monday.

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“This is the light at the end of the tunnel,” Cuomo said. “But it’s a long tunnel.”

Hospital workers nationwide begin unloading frozen vials of COVID-19 vaccine Monday.

Dr. Dave Chokshi, New York City’s health commissioner, said they did not know their overall allotment of vaccines in the coming months, but had been told to plan for 465,000 doses over the first three weeks. Health care workers who work on the same unit will be vaccinated on a staggered schedule to account for possible side effects, he said.