Nurse who received 1st COVID-19 vaccine feels 'huge sense of relief,' asks people to 'believe in science'

The first person to receive the coronavirus vaccine in the United States, intensive care unit nurse Sandra Lindsay, said she feels "a huge sense of relief" and "hope for everyone around the world that healing is coming, that we took a step in the right direction to finally put an end to this COVID-19 pandemic."

Nurse who received 1st COVID-19 vaccine feels 'huge sense of relief,' asks people to 'believe in science'

The first person to receive the coronavirus vaccine in the United States, intensive care unit nurse Sandra Lindsay, said she feels "a huge sense of relief" and "hope for everyone around the world that healing is coming, that we took a step in the right direction to finally put an end to this COVID-19 pandemic."

Lindsay works at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, and was witness to the suffering of many when New York City was the coronavirus epicenter in the spring. She agreed to receive the vaccine on television in order to instill public confidence that it is safe, and told MSNBC's Joy Reid on Monday afternoon that treating so many coronavirus patients led to "very dark" days.

"I had to be numb to be able to push through and support my staff as they worked tirelessly," she added. "They made tremendous sacrifices to be on the front lines and I just wanted to make sure I was right there with them, to support them, to give them everything they needed to carry on this fight and to save as many lives as they could."

Due to historical mistreatment and a lack of trust in the medical system, there is skepticism in the Black community surrounding the vaccine. Lindsay, an immigrant from Jamaica, said she understands their concerns, but "as a nurse, my practice is guided by science. I believe in science. What you should not trust is COVID-19. You don't know how it will affect you."

She encouraged people to continue to wear masks, practice social distancing, wash their hands, and avoid gatherings, telling Reid she is "just tired of seeing the hurt, the pain, the suffering, and the deaths. That is why it was really important for me to take the vaccine and do my part to put an end to this pandemic."