The First Individual in U.S. to Get COVID-19 Vaccine Displays

I was all the time able to say sure to the COVID-19 vaccine. I’d been following its growth from the very starting of the pandemic and stated, repeatedly, that I’d fortunately get vaccinated. Working in important care throughout the first lethal wave of the virus, my group and I had yearned for any aid from the frustration and sorrow we felt. We lived within the fixed presence of loss of life and loss, treating sufferers with out remedy choices whereas dwelling in worry of contracting the virus ourselves.

We would have liked the hope a COVID vaccine would possibly ship. When my employer, Northwell Well being, requested for volunteers to get the shot on day one, I stepped ahead to say, “Sure.”

It ended up being a milestone within the historical past of the pandemic. Within the first 12 months they had been out there, vaccines saved a minimum of 19 million lives all over the world. Mine could have been among the many first.

Later, some folks would say I’d been used, coerced, even paid. However getting the primary COVID-19 vaccine exterior of a medical trial was not a mistake. The one mistake was pondering that, after the injection, I’d be going instantly again to work.

The day had different plans. There was a press convention, and a whirlwind of interviews, then talking engagements. After I stated, “Sure,” to the vaccine, I unknowingly opened my eyes to a world of prospects and advocacy.

Threat, for instance, seems to be totally different to me now.

Greater than 6.3 million folks worldwide have died from COVID-19 thus far. As of this writing, nearly 549 million folks have been identified with it. That’s the place threat and true hazard exist–in folks eschewing knowledge and the evidence-based recommendation of medical professionals in favor of anger and falsehoods and worry, typically fomented on-line.

Saying sure additionally gave me a renewed sense of duty. I’ve heard so typically that COVID-19 has pulled again the curtain on well being inequities that I typically fear we’ll settle for these inequalities as an entrenched undeniable fact that we can not undo. I take significantly the chance I’ve to assist public well being in underserved communities and communities of colour. That is my area; I’m a Black immigrant from Jamaica who got here to this nation to turn into a nurse.

For some, it’s uncomfortable to debate the truth that too many communities of colour in the US lack entry to acceptable well being and medical care. Let’s talk about it anyway. Remodeling well being care deserts into wholesome, strong communities with inexpensive, high-quality sources is a large problem. We could not discover a excellent answer but it surely’s our duty to say sure to conversations about how we are able to take away boundaries and inequities in our well being care system.


Sandra Lindsay waves to spectators throughout a parade honoring important staff for his or her efforts all through the COVID-19 pandemic, July 7, 2021, in New York.

John Minchillo—AP

I felt empowered once I stated sure to the COVID-19 vaccine—it was greater than a dose of antibodies. It represented a hopeful, new starting. That second has been a present, a chance to develop and develop my skilled objective. I definitely didn’t predict receiving a Presidential Medal of Freedom. However In some methods, it was much less of a selection than it was a seamless transition. Possibly my having stated, “Sure,” will encourage others to do the identical.

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