NY nurse reflects 1 year after becoming 1st American to get COVID shot: 'I have no fear'

Sandra Lindsay
Nurse Sandra Lindsay is inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine, December 14, 2020 at the Jewish Medical Center, in the Queens borough of New York City. Photo credit Mark Lennihan - Pool/Getty Images
By , WCBS Newsradio 880

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — It has been nearly one year since Long Island nurse Sandra Lindsay rolled up her sleeve to become the first person in the U.S. to receive a COVID-19 vaccine shot.

Lindsay, a critical care nurse at Northwell Health's Long Island Jewish Medical Center, said getting the COVID-19 vaccine has given her a sense of calm and admits that she is always on the go since that big day last Dec. 14, when she got her first dose.

"As I was getting inoculated I felt like a huge weight was just lifted off my shoulders," she told WCBS 880's Sophia Hall. "I'm concerned about the variants, but not panicking, because I feel really protected. I have no fear. I'm concerned for others who are still on the fence."

People from all over have thanked her, including a woman in Jamaica where Lindsay grew up.

"With tears in her eyes, she said, 'You know, my family and I had made up our minds that we were not going to get vaccinated and after seeing you on TV we all made appointments and we all got vaccinated,'" Lindsay recalled the woman telling her.

Lindsay said she could go on and on about the wonderful people she has met over the past year. Among the highlights is a 9-year-old girl who wanted Lindsay to hold her hand as she received the vaccine.

"She sent me the most beautiful thank you letter. 'You inspired me, I couldn't wait when it was my turn to get vaccinated,'" Lindsay said.

Lindsay said she would have never imagined getting a vaccine would have changed her life, making her a household name. She even met with President Joe Biden and served as the grand marshal of the city's Hometown Heroes parade.

Lindsay said she's grateful for the millions of people around the world who got vaccinated, however, she said she would have liked even more people to have rolled up their sleeves in the past year.

"I thought it was going to be a faster sprint across the line so in that regard I'm a little disappointed," Lindsay said. "I'm just a little disappointed about the misinformation that's out there, and how so many people just make it consume their lives, particularly the people who should be getting vaccinated, the Black and brown people, they have just let this misinformation take over their lives. It's not about government telling you what to do and trying to control your lives. This is a public health crisis."

However, Lindsay said she's a positive person and must look on the bright side.

"To be able to travel again, to see my friends and family again, to see the decrease — the significant decrease — in cases in the hospital due to vaccinations," Lindsay said.

LISTEN on the Audacy App
Sign Up and Follow Audacy
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram