One of the worst years in American history is, at last, ending with a tad bit of good news.
On Monday morning, shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine arrives at various hospitals across the country.
Sandra Lindsay, an ICU nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, was even vaccinated on-camera, reportedly becoming the first U.S. citizens to be injected with the helpful serum.
"I’m ready. Let’s do this," this hero said before she was given the shot by a healthcare worker just before 9 a.m. EST.
The historic moment was livestreamed on Twitter by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The while room proceeded to break into applause after Lindsay received the vaccine.
"It didn’t feel any different from taking any other vaccine," the nurse said afterward, adding, "I hope this marks the beginning to the end of a very painful time in our history."
The vaccine, which was approved last week by the Food and Drug Administration, comes just as the number of fatalities in the United States from COVID-19 crosses 300,000.
The first shot is believed to be approximately 85% effective; while the follow-up dose, which patients must receive within a month after receiving the first, makes one over 95% immune to the coronavirus.
Governor Cuomo, whose state was among the hardest hit in the earliest days of the pandemic, hailed the vaccine as "the weapon that will end the war."
Within minutes of this event, meanwhile, President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter:
"First Vaccine Administered. Congratulations USA! Congratulations WORLD!”
Data released last Tuesday by the FDA shows that protection from the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine starts almost immediately after this initial shot.
"Hopefully, we will start affecting people’s lives very quickly after the onset of campaigns to immunize," said Moncef Slaoui, co-leader of Operation Warp Speed, the federal government’s vaccine development effort.
Frontline healthcare workers and those who are most vulnerable to the virus (i.e. the eldery, those with pre-conditions) will be among the first people to receive the vaccine.
The aforementioned FDA approval means that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine can begin to be distributed to people 16 years and older.
This marks "a significant milestone in battling this devastating pandemic that has affected so many families in the United States and around the world," FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., said in a press release.
The FDA also said that the "potential benefits outweigh the known and potential risks."
He assured the public and medical community that "a thorough evaluation of the available safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality information" has been conducted.
The vaccine, as of Monday morning, had been delivered to approximately 145 sites across the country.
Another 425 sites are expected to receive the vaccine on Tuesday and the final 66 sites will receive it on Wednesday, completing the initial delivery of Pfizer vaccines.
With some Americans expressing doubt about the efficacy and/or safety of this immunization, a multitude of very famous people have said they’ll take it on camera in order to quell these concerns.
Health experts have said it’s vital than a signficant majority of Americans take the vaccine in order to truly defeat this virus once and for all.
It’s also worth noting that the vaccinations will be free, thanks to a deal between Pfizer and the U.S. government to supply 100 million doses by March 2021, the New York Times has reported.
All 50 states have already submitted locations to which the vaccines can be shipped.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, meanwhile, tried to calm the concerns of all Americans on Monday, telling The Today Show that the vaccine had "gone through every aspect of the FDA process with integrity and transparent data," adding:
If you are recommended to get it and it’s available for you, please do get it, protect yourself and protect those around you.