Updated: March 7, 2021
An African-American intensive-care nurse, Sandra Lindsay, was the first person to receive a coronavirus vaccine shot in the United States on Monday morning.
Lindsay received the first shot of the Pfizer-BioNtech’s coronavirus vaccine shortly after 9 a.m. on Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, New York State.
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More than 35,000 people have died in New York since the virus was first reported in the state early this year, making it one of the most hit states in the country.
With that first shot began America’s mass vaccination campaign, a new chapter in the battle against the deadly coronavirus pandemic, which has killed close to 300,000 people in the United States.
“I believe this is the weapon that will end the war,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said at the news conference on Monday morning before the shot was given to Sandra Lindsay.
President Donald Trump tweeted moment later: “First Vaccine Administered. Congratulations USA! Congratulations WORLD!”
It was not clear whether President Trump was referring to the vaccination in New York.
On Sunday, UPS and FedEx trucks loaded with the Pfizer-BioNtech coronavirus vaccine began rolling out in the United States from a Michigan manufacturing facility.
The distribution began a day after an advisory committee for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted on Saturday to recommend the Pfizer-BioNtech coronavirus vaccine for Americans 16 years and older.
That recommendation also came a day after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the vaccine for emergency use.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted in favor of the recommendation with 11 committee members voting for the measure and three recusing themselves.
Vaccines for COVID-19 could be delivered to all healthcare providers in the United States within three weeks, multiple reports quoted Army General Gustave Perna, the chief operation officer for Operation Warp Speed, as saying on Saturday.
Next week, about 3 million doses of Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine will be shipped nationwide.
On Tuesday, an FDA panel will be meeting to review data from the clinical trial of another COVID-19 vaccine developed by Massachusetts-based biotechnology company Moderna.
By the end of December, officials have said as many as 40 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines could be available in the United States.
“I feel confident that as we do the initial shipments this week and then hopefully following with the Moderna vaccine, we will begin to blossom expansion of delivery throughout the states to ensure greater access to the vaccine availability for everybody,” Perna said on Saturday.