The largest vaccination campaign in United States history gets underway as healthcare workers start receiving Covid-19 vaccine, and Sandra Lindsay got the first Pfizer-BioNTech shot live on TV.

Sandra Lindsay, a nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, is inoculated with the coronavirus vaccine by Dr Michelle Chester from Northwell Health at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York, US, December 14, 2020.
Sandra Lindsay, a nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, is inoculated with the coronavirus vaccine by Dr Michelle Chester from Northwell Health at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York, US, December 14, 2020. (Reuters)

A nurse in New York has become the first person in the United States to receive the coronavirus vaccine.

Sandra Lindsay, a critical care nurse at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, received the Pfizer-BioNTech shot live on TV shortly before 1430 GMT on Monday.

"First Vaccine Administered. Congratulations USA! Congratulations WORLD!" President Donald Trump tweeted.

READ MORE: First shipments of Covid-19 vaccine begin in US

Lindsay said the jab "didn't feel any different from taking any other vaccine."

"I feel great. I feel relieved," she said.

"I hope this marks the beginning of the end of the very painful time in our history. I want to instill public confidence that the vaccine is safe," she said.

"We're in a pandemic so we all need to do our part," Lindsay added.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, watching the landmark moment via video-link, told Lindsay he hoped the vaccine would give her and other frontline healthcare workers "a sense of security and safety."

"It's going to take months before the vaccine hits critical mass. So, this is the light at the end of the tunnel, but it's a long tunnel," he said, reminding people to keep following social distancing guidelines.

READ MORE: Singapore approves Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for use – latest updates

Covid-19 has ravaged the United States.

More than 299,000 Americans have been killed by the virus, including over 35,000 residents of New York state.

US vaccine chief confident in delivering shots

Dr Moncef Slaoui, who is leading the government’s Covid-19 vaccine effort, said on Monday he is “as confident as we can be” that the vaccine will get into the right hands and that if there are problems in the distribution and inoculation process, adjustments can be made quickly.

“We have rehearsed, tested, did mock deliveries, every single step of the process in order to make sure we understand how it’s working,” Slaoui told, “CBS This Morning.” 

“We also have made sure that the first 2.9 million vaccines are being distributed over three days in order to make sure that if there are any adjustments we can make, we have an opportunity to make them.”

Slaoui said he was concerned about “accidental loss of temperature control” during the distribution process but added: “The unknown and unpredictable may happen but we’re prepared to deal with that as quickly as we detect it.”

He said that by the middle of March, there will be enough vaccine to have inoculated 100 million Americans, mostly those in high-risk groups. By the end of May or the middle of June most Americans should have access to the vaccines, he said.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies