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Sandra Lindsay, nurse who received first COVID vaccine in U.S., to be awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

Sandra Lindsay to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom
Sandra Lindsay to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom 02:18

NEW YORK - The first person to get vaccinated against COVID in this country is being honored for her bravery and example. 

CBS2's Jessica Moore spoke with Sandra Lindsay just after she found she was being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. 

She was the face of bringing medicine to Main Street. Now, Sandra Lindsay, the first person to get vaccinated for COVID outside a clinical trial, is being honored for her bravery and example. 

"When did you find out you were receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom?" Moore asked. 

"Last weekend," Lindsay said. 

"And what's going through your mind?" Moore asked.

"Well, I missed the call from the White House, and the message left was that the president wanted to speak to me, and I thought, wow, is this a prank?" Lindsay said. "I was just immediately overwhelmed with a ton of emotions: Delight, pride, gratitude. Just humbled and honored to even be considered for such a prestigious award."

Watch Jessica Moore's full interview with Sandra Lindsay

Nurse Sandra Lindsay to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom 07:36

In the months since getting her COVID shot on live TV in December 2020, life has been a blur of accomplishment for the nurse at Northwell Health's Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens. 

"What have the last couple of years been like for you?" Moore asked. 

"Since 'the shot heard 'round the world,' it's been a roller coaster of opportunities, and I've had a chance to inspire some people around the world," Lindsay said. 

Lindsay served as the grand marshal of last year's Hometown Heroes parade and was already awarded the Outstanding American By Choice from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the White House. But this award holds special meaning. 

"It's the highest award for any civilian, and when you look at the list of people who have gotten this in the past - some powerhouses, celebrities. So for me, just a nurse from Jamaica, it's incredibly important and humbling," Lindsay said. 

The highest honor for a humble servant who helped usher vaccine science into the spotlight. 

The awards will be given out next week at the White House to 14 Americans who have overcome significant obstacles to achieve impressive accomplishments. Other recipients include Denzel Washington, Simone Biles, and Friar Alexander Karloutsos, a Long Island priest who has provided counsel to several U.S. presidents. 

For a complete list of this year's recipients, CLICK HERE

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