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President Biden awards first COVID vaccine recipient with Medal of Freedom

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Sandra Lindsay is still in shock, after a recent phone call.

“The President of the United States wants to speak to me? That has to be a prank call,” Lindsay said.

But it was no joke, and Thursday she was one of 17 recipients of the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom.

President Joe Biden says she was selected for her work as a Long Island Jewish Medical Center critical care nurse, and for being the first American to receive a COVID-19 vaccine outside of clinical trials.

“She poured her heart into helping patients fight for their lives and to keep their fellow nurses safe…today, she receives our nation’s highest civilian honor,” the President said.

“Never in my wildest dreams would I think that I would hold this place in history, but I am honored and humbled,” Lindsay said.

In addition to saving lives, Lindsay says the vaccines also relieved some of the burden on healthcare workers.

“My colleagues and I in healthcare, in the medical community, have worked tirelessly to get to this point,” Lindsay said.

She continues to advocate for vaccines and mental health for health care workers and says this Medal of Freedom is not just for her.

“I share this Medal of Freedom with all my fellow healthcare workers, my nurses, every single person who worked throughout the pandemic, in the United States, all over the world,” Lindsay said.



WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Sandra Lindsay is still in shock, after a recent phone call.

“The President of the United States wants to speak to me? That has to be a prank call,” Lindsay said.

But it was no joke, and Thursday she was one of 17 recipients of the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom.

President Joe Biden says she was selected for her work as a Long Island Jewish Medical Center critical care nurse, and for being the first American to receive a COVID-19 vaccine outside of clinical trials.

“She poured her heart into helping patients fight for their lives and to keep their fellow nurses safe…today, she receives our nation’s highest civilian honor,” the President said.

“Never in my wildest dreams would I think that I would hold this place in history, but I am honored and humbled,” Lindsay said.

In addition to saving lives, Lindsay says the vaccines also relieved some of the burden on healthcare workers.

“My colleagues and I in healthcare, in the medical community, have worked tirelessly to get to this point,” Lindsay said.

She continues to advocate for vaccines and mental health for health care workers and says this Medal of Freedom is not just for her.

“I share this Medal of Freedom with all my fellow healthcare workers, my nurses, every single person who worked throughout the pandemic, in the United States, all over the world,” Lindsay said.

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