White men like President Donald Trump, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have called the shots since the coronavirus pandemic began – for better or worse – but Black women are ending the greatest public health crisis to face the country in a century.
Today, Sandra Lindsay, an ICU nurse from Queens became the first New Yorker to get a federally approved vaccine when she received a vaccine developed by a Black scientist that was administered by a Black health care worker.
The image of Black women taking the lead in beginning the vaccine distribution process not only highlights their leading role in ending the pandemic, but also helps address vaccine hesitancy in communities of color.
Lindsay is not the first person to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Thousands of people – including at least one Democratic state senator and a Republican member of the New York City Council – participated in drug trials that have assessed the efficacy and safety of vaccines, but she appears to be the first person in the country to receive a vaccine under the emergency use authorization approved by the FDA and swiftly green-lighted by a state panel late last week.