Sandra Lindsay, a New York nurse, has been hailed as being the first American to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
She promoted the shots at Zoom town halls, panels, and other events.
"I encourage people talk to experts who can answer questions and access trusted science. Lindsay, who is from Jamaica and has spoken at events in the U.S., said that she let people know it was okay to ask questions.
Lindsay was given her shot on a nationally televised moment that took place on December 14, last year, as the U.S. began its vaccination campaign. The first COVID-19 vaccines arrived at high-risk healthcare workers' hospitals just days after Lindsay received an emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.
Lindsay was affected by COVID-19 at Northwell Health's Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Queens.
Lindsay, the director of critical care nursing at the hospital, said that she felt "broken, defeated, tired, and burnt out". "Witnessing the loss of life, livelihoods.
Northwell Health stated that it sought volunteers to give the shots and that Lindsay was "the first to be given." She was widely recognized as the first American to receive the shot in an environment other than a clinical trial.
President Biden has recognized Lindsay as an "Outstanding American By Choice" since then. Citizenship and Immigration Services recognizes naturalized citizens.
Lindsay is still trying to address fears and misinformation, despite the new omicron variant being available and the subsequent surges across the country. Lindsay stated that some people mistakenly believe they don't need the shots if they exercise and eat right. Others believe the vaccines are used to monitor people or as an experiment against Black people.
She acknowledged that there is mistrust in communities of colour, and it stems from the past. She assures that she did her research before she was given her shot and that there are safeguards.
She said that millions upon millions of people have been vaccinated with no adverse effects.
She stresses the importance of getting a shot to protect others.
She said that some worries, such as fear of needles can be more easily addressed.
Lindsay provided comfort to a 9 year old girl who was getting her shots at the hospital after children were eligible for vaccines. Although she was not a pediatric nurse, Lindsay declined the request of the girl to vaccinate her. However, she offered to hold her hand and do so.
Lindsay received a note from the girl thanking her for the gesture.
Lindsay looked back and said that she was grateful for the opportunity to play a role. "It's very rewarding when people approach me and say, "Thank you very much." I'm inspired to get vaccinated.