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The first person in the US to receive a COVID-19 vaccine exactly one year ago said on Tuesday that healthcare workers are “tired” and “concerned” as the pandemic drags on, CNN reported.
Sandra Lindsay, a nurse in New York, was the first person to get vaccinated against COVID-19 outside of clinical trials on December 14, 2020, at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center.
Lindsay said she looks back with “tremendous gratitude” that she was able to get vaccinated.
But, she added: “I can speak on behalf of health care workers at my organization when I say that we are tired, and we’re concerned, especially because we know that the public now has options,” she said.
Last year’s milestone kicked off a nationwide vaccination campaign in the US, with over 485 million doses administered across the country, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Fully vaccinated people make up 60.9% of the population — or over 202 million people — according to the CDC, though that figure includes children who were unable until recently to get the shots. Over 72% of Americans over the age of 18 have been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
“Although we’ve made some progress, we still have some way to go,” Lindsay told CNN. “My hope is that here as Americans and around the world, we can unite to finally put an end to the pandemic.”
But the one-year anniversary of the historic jab comes as the nation faces an increasing presence of the new Omicron variant, which was first detected in the US on November 15, according to the CDC.
Health officials such as CDC Director Rochelle Walensky have urged people to get vaccinated and boosted, saying that while Omicron may appear to be less severe, a fresh wave of COVID-19 cases would mean “a lot of people” will get sick.