Lehman Alum Sandra Lindsay ’10, ICU Nurse and Frontliner, Becomes First in NY to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

The first New Yorker to receive the newly-approved COVID-19 vaccination Monday morningand the first known U.S. citizen to receive the shot in a non-trial settingis a critical care nurse who graduated from Lehman College.

Sandra Lindsay ’10, the director of critical care nursing at Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJ) in Queens, was vaccinated shortly after 9 a.m. during a live-streamed event that attracted the attention of  President Trump, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

After receiving the first of two injections that will be delivered over three weeks, Lindsay—who has worked at LIJ since April 2016 and received her master’s degree in adult health nursing from Lehman in 2010—told the Associated Press that she felt “relieved.”

“I hope this marks the beginning of the end of a very painful time in our history,” she said.

By getting the shot in full view of the world, Lindsay said she wanted to “instill public confidence that the vaccine is safe.”

“We all need to do our part to put an end to the pandemic and not to give up so soon—there is light at the end of the tunnel,” she said, “… I believe in science—as a nurse, my practice is guided by science. And so, I trust that.”

On the other hand, she said, contracting COVID-19 could unleash a number of dangerous unknowns. “I don't know how it’s going to affect me or those I come in contact with. So, I encourage everyone to take the vaccine.” People should also continue to follow public health guidelines by wearing masks and social distancing, she added.

“Nursing is knowledge work and Sandra's commitment to science and human caring is the epitome of what this country needs in its health providers,” said Catherine Alicia Georges, chair of Lehman’s Department of Nursing.

Healthcare workers like Lindsay were ushered to the front of the vaccine line in the past week after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use for Americans older than 16. Almost 3 million doses were shipped to sites across the country in the past three days.

Since March 2020, 16.5 million have contracted COVID 19, and more than 300,000 Americans have died from complications from the disease.