Sandra Lindsay, the Jamaican-born nurse who was the first person in the US to get the COVID-19 shot, is to be presented with the North American nation’s highest civilian honour, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the White House announced Friday.
Lindsay is among 17 people who will receive the award from US President Joe Biden. Others include actor Denzel Washington, gymnast Simone Biles and the late John McCain, the Arizona Republican with whom Biden served in the US Senate.
The Democratic president will present the medals at the White House next week.
Biden himself is a medal recipient. President Barack Obama honoured Biden’s public service as a longtime US senator and vice president by awarding him a Presidential Medal of Freedom in January 2017, a week before they left office.
On December 14, 2020, Lindsay went down in history, becoming the first person in the US to receive the COVID-19 vaccine outside of clinical trials.
Lindsay, who migrated from Jamaica to the US aged 18, is the director of nursing for critical care at Northwell Health's Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, New York, the first COVID-19 epicentre in the US.