Biden Awards Medal of Freedom To Nurse Who Received First COVID-19 Vaccine

Photo: Getty Images

The Black ICU nurse who was the first in the nation to take the COVID-19 vaccine will soon be honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, ABC News reports.

New York nurse Sandra Lindsay served as an important vaccine advocate amid the harrowing coronavirus pandemic by being the first to receive the shot in December of 2020.

Now, Lindsay will be one of the 17 recipients of President Joe Biden's Medal of Freedom.

"I'm honored to hold this place in history," Lindsay told ABC News before the ceremony set to take place on Thursday (July 7).

The image of the New Yorker's historic vaccination went viral and represented hope as the country's coronavirus death toll continued to rise.

Lindsay said she was "overwhelmed" with emotions when she was first notified by the White House that she would be receiving the prestigious award.

"I was just overwhelmed with pride, joy, gratitude and just immediately thought about what that meant for others, for people who look like me — for young ladies, for black women, for immigrants, for Jamaicans, for Americans, nurses, health care workers, minorities," Lindsay said.

The honorees of the Presidential Medal of Freedom "demonstrate the power of possibilities and embody the soul of the nation – hard work, perseverance, and faith, per a White House press release, "[and] have overcome significant obstacles to achieve impressive accomplishments in the arts and sciences, dedicated their lives to advocating for the most vulnerable among us, and acted with bravery to drive change in their communities – and across the world – while blazing trails for generations to come."

Other recipients of Biden's medal include Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, actor Denzel Washington, and former congresswoman Gabby Giffords.

As she receives her honor, Lindsay continues to urge the public to get vaccinated to curb the spread of the virus.

"We have made significant strides, but [COVID-19] is still here, and it still poses a threat to you, if you are not protected. I encourage everyone to go get themselves vaccinated," Lindsay said. "If you're not vaccinated, you're still not protected."

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