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

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

Half a dozen impressed kids in Lee, N.H., ranging in age from 8 to 12, every despatched Ms. Lindsay a letter praising her for main the way in which.

“I want 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 essential 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 a whole lot 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 tip of the day, 118,304 folks within the metropolis had gotten a primary dose of coronavirus vaccinations, and 756 had gotten a second, in line with the New York Metropolis Division of Well being and Psychological Hygiene. Throughout the nation, different early recipients have been getting shot No. 2 as properly.

Practically all states have made getting well being care staff and nursing house residents immunized a prime precedence. However the effort, now three weeks outdated, has been slower than many governors and public well being officers hoped.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 folks have obtained them to this point. There are 21 million well being care staff nationwide, and three million residents of nursing properties and different long-term care services.

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, stated his group has vaccinated about 27,000 workers 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 might anticipate that basic public inoculations may begin in late February, and it’ll take a very long time to finish,” he stated. “You’re speaking about tens of millions of individuals, they usually have to return again for second photographs.”

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

She stated she had been certain because the early days of the pandemic that she would get vaccinated as quickly as she may: “Given my experiences on the entrance strains, 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 wished 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 stated. “You by no means know what you’re strolling into.”

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