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Nurse Sandra Lindsay urges Jamaicans to be ‘stronger together’ in fighting COVID-19

Published:Monday | August 9, 2021 | 12:07 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston/Gleaner Writer
Jamaican nurse Sandra Lindsay, who made history on December 14 in the United States by being the first person to take the COVID-19 vaccine in New York


Nurse Sandra Lindsay, who made history on December 14 in the United States by being the first person to take the COVID-19 vaccine in the country, is appealing to Jamaicans to join in the fight against the debilitating virus by also taking the jab.

Lindsay, who hails from Clarendon, migrated to the United States in 1986 and works as director of nursing for a critical care facility. She said this has been the most challenging 18 months of her life working on the frontline in her career.

Lindsay, who along with her brother Garfield were guests of Clarendon Central Member of Parliament Mike Henry at a special Independence Day function on Friday, said her lifelong goal was always to be a nurse, and fear played no part in her service until the onset of COVID-19.

“Never was I afraid of entering a hospital, until when COVID hit and every day I had to go in, not knowing what to expect. I went in courageously, prayed and took my Jamaican remedy – a shot of turmeric tea, ginger with lemon and garlic every day. All I prayed for was to be alive and to be able to come back home, and to such warm welcome,” she shared with Henry and his other guests.

Making reference to the Jamaican Diaspora Independence theme ‘Stronger Together’, she said Jamaicans now have an opportunity to be stronger together in the fight against the coronavirus.

“It’s high time we reclaim our lives and livelihood. COVID has stripped us; it’s time for us to end this fight, and I know that we can do that stronger together. The evidence is there that the vaccine can protect us, and right now we are racing against these variants which are replicating rapidly,” Lindsay reasoned, as she drew an analogy to the women’s Olympic 4x100 relay gold medal-winning team.

She said it was the same kind of teamwork that will be needed for Jamaicans to “pass the baton” and beat COVID-19 “stronger together”.

Commenting on the hesitancy being exhibited by many regarding taking the vaccination, she shared her own experience as she said it’s been eight months since she took her shot and has never felt more protected or safer.

“I feel safe enough to come here to Jamaica, back to my roots; and I have been enjoying some of the other things I love, which is being around people and going out to a restaurant to eat some of the little things; and that is what being protected can afford us,” she opines.

Urging Jamaicans not to get sidetracked by social media propaganda, Lindsay encouraged her fellow men to talk to trusted medical experts and also to do their own research by reading from trusted sources – something she did a lot of before taking the jab.


Dr Lisa Kervin Dawes, medical consultant at the May Pen Hospital, expressed the desire to have Nurse Lindsay take her message to the hospitals in the parish, talking to the nurses and doctors about her experience.

“I would love to have her at May Pen Hospital to talk to the staff. She is an inspiration. I encourage my staff to take the vaccine, I would encourage everyone,” Dr Dawes shared, as she informed that the country is now going through its third wave of COVID-19, with the hospitals feeling its effect.

Sharing that the isolation wards are getting full, she pressed home the need for people to be vaccinated against a virus that has so far infected 54,859 Jamaicans and killed 1,222 across the country. With a positivity rate of an alarming 37.8 per cent, there are some 272 persons hospitalised with the disease.