Last week, we managed to avoid the usual “case of the Mondays.”
The workweek typically begins for many Americans with a sense of distaste that a full five days of sometimes monotonous labor are ahead of them. Another weekend has concluded, and it’s back to the grindstone.
But this past Monday brought an extraordinary turn of event after months of dreadful news. Pfizer and BioNTech rolled out their COVID-19 vaccine, and a nurse in New York City joined the initial group of Americans to receive it.
Sandra Lindsay is a critical care nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, part of the Northwell Health system. She was the first New Yorker to be vaccinated.
This development is a major triumph for medical science. Vaccines often take years to make available to members of the public.
To have a vaccine ready to stamp out COVID-19 in a matter of months is astounding. The medical community recognized the seriousness of this crisis and went all out to make this happen.
And it was fitting for a health care worker to have received the first vaccination in New York. The numerous nurses, doctors, lab technicians, physicians assistants and other medical personnel across the country have borne the burden of this pandemic. We truly hope the vaccines available will lighten their load.
“Sandra Lindsay, a critical care nurse at Northwell Health, was the first New York resident and one of the first people in the United States to receive the vaccine since it was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week. She received the vaccine just before 9:30 a.m. at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, which was one of the downstate hospitals most overwhelmed by COVID patients last spring,” according to a story published Monday by the Watertown Daily Times. “About 100,000 COVID-19 patients have been treated at Northwell Health’s system of New York City hospitals and medical centers, with more than 3,500 virus patients in Northwell at the peak of the initial outbreak in April.
“Medical staff could be heard applauding after Lindsay received the vaccine,” the article reported. “More than 10,000 vaccinations were administered in the state Monday throughout its first day of inoculations. … After getting the injection, Lindsay said she felt well and that the vaccine was the beginning of the end of a painful time in history.”
We commend everyone at Pfizer and BioNTech for the incredible work they performed to prepare this vaccine. Moderna is another company that has a vaccine under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is more good news.
In addition, we express our appreciation to all elected officials and members of the Trump administration who moved heaven and earth to ensure this vaccine was safe and ready for use. Government regulation is a critical part of this process, which enhances public trust in the vaccine. It’s satisfying to see how well this part of the overall mechanism worked out.
Most of all, we remain indebted to the frontline workers at hospitals, nursing homes and health care facilities who have been struggling to care for people affected by the novel coronavirus. They’ve performed brilliantly under dire circumstances.
We still have quite a ways to go to put this pandemic behind us. But this vaccine is the glimmer of hope we’ve been dreaming about for much of the past year, and we’re so grateful to everyone who’s been fighting to keep people alive and healthy during this time.
If only all Mondays started each workweek with such a joyful event.