The first American to receive the 2020 COVID-19 vaccine is also the first in line for the latest Pfizer vaccine.
Sandra Lindsay, vice president of public health advocacy at Northwell Health, said she is receiving the vaccine to keep her family safe, and reduce the strain on healthcare workers and hospitals.
“I’m grateful to be in this position to be the first to be getting this new updated COVID vaccine,” Lindsay said. “But more importantly, to be in a position to raise awareness about the importance of getting vaccinated.”
Dr. Bruce Farber, who serves as chief of public health and epidemiology, said the updated vaccine prevents severe illness caused by the COVID-19 strains, which can lead to prolonged health issues.
“It’s really not just a cold,” Farber said. “It affects the heart. It can cause prolonged brain fatigue, and the like. And so that’s the reason we are pushing this vaccine — for the public health.”
The latest vaccine offers protection against BA.2, BA.2.86, known as “Pirola,” EG.5 known as “Eris” and XBB.1.5, to prevent hospitalizations from surging during the winter.
For those who received their last COVID-19 vaccine several months ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting the latest vaccine soon, along with flu shots, in October.
The vaccine will be available at some retail pharmacies, including CVS and Rite Aid this week.
Farber also warned of a possible “tripledemic” of COVID, the flu and another respiratory infection known as RSV — unless Americans get vaccinated.
Copyright 2023 WSHU. To see more, visit WSHU.