Second doses have begun for the earliest U.S. vaccine recipients.

After Sandra Lindsay grew to become the primary particular person in the US to obtain a Covid-19 vaccination outdoors a medical trial, one thing sudden occurred: She acquired a fan membership.

Half a dozen impressed kids in Lee, N.H., ranging in age from eight to 12, every despatched Ms. Lindsay a letter praising her for main the way in which.

“I wish to thanks for taking the primary vaccine in the usA.,” 12-year-old Finley wrote. “I’ve had a tough time on this period. What you probably did was extremely courageous.” He added, “You helped everybody who was uncertain, and also you gave hope to those that are lonely and felt unsafe.”

On Monday, Ms. Lindsay, 52, the director of important care nursing at Lengthy Island Jewish Medical Middle in Queens, was within the vanguard once more. The requisite 21 days had handed, so it was time for her, and tons of of different well being care staff and long-term care sufferers on the head of the road, to obtain the second half of the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

By the top of the day, 118,304 individuals within the metropolis had gotten a primary dose of coronavirus vaccinations, and 756 had gotten a second, in response to the New York Metropolis Division of Well being and Psychological Hygiene. Throughout the nation, different early recipients had been getting shot No. 2 as nicely.

Almost all states have made getting well being care staff and nursing residence residents immunized a high precedence. However the effort, now three weeks previous, has been slower than many governors and public well being officers hoped.

The federal authorities has shipped greater than 15 million vaccine doses to states, however solely 4.5 million individuals have obtained them up to now. There are 21 million well being care staff nationwide, and three million residents of nursing houses and different long-term care amenities.

Dr. Mark P. Jarrett, chief high quality officer for Northwell Well being, which operates Lengthy Island Jewish, 22 different hospitals and 800 ambulatory care websites within the New York metropolitan space, mentioned his group has vaccinated about 27,000 staff with both the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccines. The Moderna recipients will get their second shot after 28 days.

The 2-stage nature of the vaccines will have an effect on how briskly the vaccination program progresses, Dr. Jarrett famous. “I’d anticipate that common public inoculations may begin in late February, and it’ll take a very long time to finish,” he mentioned. “You’re speaking about hundreds of thousands of individuals, and so they have to return again for second photographs.”

Ms. Lindsay mentioned on Tuesday that she had skilled no unwanted side effects from the vaccine, and that she was touched by the youngsters’s letters, which left her “very, very emotional.”

She mentioned she had been certain for the reason that early days of the pandemic that she would get vaccinated as quickly as she may: “Given my experiences on the entrance traces, and seeing the laborious work of my colleagues and the struggling and demise of sufferers, I knew again then that when it was developed, I needed to take the vaccine.”

However even with the 2 photographs now safely in her arm, she nonetheless worries about going to work.

“I’ve been a nurse for greater than 26 years, and I’ve by no means been extra scared than I’m proper now, even with the vaccine, as a result of this virus is so erratic, unpredictable and doesn’t discriminate,” she mentioned. “You by no means know what you’re strolling into.”

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