Sandra Lindsay, a critical care director, was given the injection in Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Queens, to applause from those watching.
Queens was the hardest-hit borough of the hardest-hit city in the nation; the medical center where Ms Lindsay works has seen well over 100,000 Covid patients, and in April they had over 3,500 patients in their hospitals.
Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, described it as “the final chapter”.
“But a vaccine doesn’t work if it’s in the vial,” he said, urging all to get vaccinated when their turn comes.
“I hope this gives you and your colleagues a little more of a sense of safety and confidence, when you get the second shot,” he told Ms Lindsay after her jab.
Ms Lindsey said that the injection felt the same as any other.
“I’m feeling well. I would like to thank all the frontline workers, all my colleagues, who have been doing a yeoman’s job to fight this pandemic all over the world,” she said.
"I feel hopeful today. I am relieved. I feel like healing is coming, I hope this marks the beginning of the end of a very painful time in our history.
"I want to instill public confidence that the vaccine is safe. We are in a pandemic so we all need to do our part to put an end to the pandemic and not give up so soon.
"There is light at the end of the tunnel, but we all need to continue to wear a mask, to social distance.
“I believe in science. As a nurse, my practice is guided by science, and so I trust science. What I don’t trust is that, if I contract Covid, I don’t know how it will attack me or those I come in to contact with, so I’m urging everyone to take the vaccine.”
New York state is to receive 170,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in the first wave of distribution, with 72,000 of those going to New York City.
Healthcare workers will be vaccinated first.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies