Andrés Smith became the first Mexican to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States.
He is a doctor, he works as director of the Emergency Department of Sharp Hospital in Chula Vista, San Diego, California, and being part of the Health staff that treats patients with COVID-19, he is within the first segment of the US population to receive the vaccine.
In addition, he is president of the Mexican Red Cross in Tijuana and a member of the Binational Leadership Council for his philanthropic work at Sharp Chula Vista.
Dr. Smith and his colleagues in the emergency department were awarded the Donald N. Sharp Medal of Honor from the Sharp HealthCare Foundation for their contributions to various campaigns including “Above and Beyond,” aimed at building the next generation of hospitals in South San Diego County.
Leslie Thompson, director of occupational health for Sharp HealthCare employees, was the one who immunized Smith with the Pfizer vaccine, recently approved in the American union.
It should be remembered that in Mexico the vaccine against COVID-19 prepared by Pfizer in conjunction with the German pharmaceutical company BioNTech was also already approved by the health authorities, even hours before in the United States.
For its part, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also approved the use of the COVID-19 vaccine created by Moderna, being the second drug endorsed for these purposes.
Another Hispanic was also a candidate to receive the vaccine, María Ponce de León, a janitorial worker for almost two decades at Paradise Valley Hospital was the first to receive it to the applause of her colleagues at this health institution.
“I’m super excited, I waited for this for more than nine months,” said the woman, who is dedicated to cleaning both the intensive care units and the rooms in which cases of COVID-19 are treated.
María Ponce de León agreed to receive the vaccine because, although she takes all the necessary measures to avoid exposing her family at home, she wants to feel calmer. “I feel safe, I feel that the vaccine is safe and I would like all of us to lose our fear.”
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