For the past eight years, Dec. 14 has marked one of the most tragic moments in recent American history. On this day in 2012, a disturbed young man walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., with a semiautomatic firearm and killed 26 people, 20 of whom were children.

From this year on, however, Dec. 14 won’t be known only as the anniversary of one of the deadliest outbreaks of a decades-long plague that the U.S. can’t seem to solve. It will be also be known as the day in which the nation’s efforts to stop another deadly scourge bore fruit, as the first COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered to healthcare workers around the country, giving a downcast nation hope that the end of this deadly scourge is finally in sight.