First lady Chirlane McCray gets Pfizer vaccine at Kings County Hospital

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First Lady Chirlane McCray received the Pfizer vaccine at Kings County Hospital on Feb 9.
Photo by Ben Verde

First Lady Chirlane McCray received her first dose of the coronavirus vaccine on Feb. 9 at Kings County Hospital.

McCray, 66, received the Pfizer jab from nurse Christine Elleston alongside two community leaders: Jean Alexander of the New York Caribbean Center and Jeanette Rivera of St. Mark’s Methodist Church.

“It was so easy,” the first lady said after receiving the shot. “Kings County Hospital staff are so warm and welcoming, and made it so easy for us to do this.”

McCray encouraged all New Yorkers to get one of the available COVID-19 vaccines once eligible.

“There really is nothing to be afraid of,” she said. “We want to do this for our families, we want to do this for our loved ones, and of course we want to do it for our city.” 

The city has made efforts to encourage those in Black and Latino communities to take the shot, where distrust in the federal government has made some more hesitant to receive the shot. Part of that strategy includes prominent Black leaders, like the first lady, taking the shot and encouraging others to do the same. 

“People need to see that folks they know, folks they trust and respect are getting the vaccine,” de Blasio said at a recent press briefing. “They also need to know that the priorities are being respected and those who need it most are getting it first.”

McCray received her shot the same day her husband, Mayor Bill de Blasio, announced the city had officially surpassed 1 million vaccine doses administered. Though Hizzoner lauded the 1,032,158 doses doled out thus far across the Five Boroughs, the milestone came one week after his initial end-of-January goal.

The city will also receive a five percent boost in its vaccine supply from the federal government, officials said on Feb. 9, and eligibility will be expanded this week include New Yorkers with pre-existing conditions. De Blasio, 59, does not yet qualify for the vaccine.

City testing data shows 7.54 percent of all tests administered in Kings County, where McCray received her vaccine, produced positive results during the 7-day period ending Feb. 6, when the most recent data is available.

Nearly 28,000 new cases were reported citywide during that same seven-day period.