Sandra Lindsay received her first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Monday from Dr. Michelle Chester at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo watched via video conference as the intensive care nurse received her shot.
He said Mrs. Lindsay was the first person to get a COVID-19[feminine[feminine vaccine in New York State – and “the first person in the United States” when shipments arrive.
Three million doses are given as part of the first wave of vaccinations in the United States, with healthcare workers and residents of nursing homes in the first place.
When asked how she felt after the vaccine, Ms. Lindsay said, “Great. I feel optimistic today, relieved. ”
Mr. Cuomo thanked the nurse and Dr. Chester “for all you have done for all New Yorkers during this pandemic.”
He said, “I know how horrible it was. It was the modern battlefield. You put your fear aside and you have stepped up each day. ”
The governor added that it was fair that the first vaccination had taken place in Queens, describing it as the “epicenter” of the first wave in the spring.
Hospitals in the area were forced to build temporary morgues like coronavirus deaths spiraled out of control in March and April.
But Mr Cuomo said on Monday: “This vaccine is exciting. I think this is the weapon that will end the war. Now we have to do it. We are all with you. ”
About 400 other U.S. sites will receive their doses of the vaccine on Tuesday and Wednesday after the regulator approves it for emergency use.
America’s death toll is currently the highest in the world – surpassing 300,000 on Monday, with 16 million cases, according to Johns Hopkins University, which has been tracking cases and deaths worldwide.
Analysis: The vaccine is not a silver bullet for the United States and victory over the virus is still far away
By Sally Lockwood, press correspondent
The vaccine brings much needed hope to America, but it won’t be a quick fix. Its deployment is a huge and complex operation and many obstacles await us.
The biggest concern is the surge in cases and deaths in recent weeks and it is expected to worsen over the Christmas period.
As frontline healthcare workers battle the fierce Second Wave, they also battle fierce skepticism around a vaccine that could end their hell.
Deaths from COVID-19 have now exceeded 3,000 per day, more than the worst days of the first wave.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Robert Redfield has warned we could see 9/11-level deaths every day for the next two to three months.
Frontline health workers in New York City and states across the country took the first vaccinations publicly in an attempt to encourage people to get vaccinated.
But they also ask Americans to be sane and safe this Christmas, so they can be together for the next. It is difficult in a country where the pandemic was politicized very early on. This led to a shambolic response.
America has 4% of the world’s population but 19% of its deaths from COVID.
Today, at least 75% of Americans must be immunized to gain herd immunity.
While you can feel public health officials heave a collective sigh of relief as this vaccine arrives, victory in the crisis still seems a long way off.