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LIJ V.S. nurse gets first dose of Moderna vaccine

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On Monday, Long Island Jewish Valley Stream nurse Arlene Ramirez became the first Northwell Health employee to receive the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine. Northwell, the largest health network in the state, administers operations at the hospital.

The vaccine from Moderna is the second vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration designed to prevent coronavirus infection. Its approval came a week after that of another, produced by Pfizer-BioNTech, and differs primarily in that Moderna’s is easier to transport and store.

“This vaccine is hope,” Ramirez, 44, said becoming emotional. “We should not be afraid of the vaccine. We should be afraid of Covid.”

Working in the Emergency Department, Ramirez herself contracted Covid-19 and became seriously ill, she said. She described seeing “death after death” during the early months of the pandemic. The virus also killed her father.

“It’s urgent that we get everyone vaccinated,” said Northwell president and chief executive officer, Michael Dowling, but he noted that the process would take several months.