The Science Museum will soon be home to the vial of the first Covid-19 vaccine.
If there ever was a time of collective hopelessness and global despair, it was 2020. One of the few silver linings the trying year had to offer was the Covid-19 vaccine, which is now being administered across the country. The UK was the first place in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and on December 8, the first dose was given to a patient at Coventry University Hospital. 90-year-old Margaret Keenan made history after receiving the world’s first Covid jab, and the empty vial and syringe from her immunisation will go on display at the Science Museum this year. [Featured image: Science Museum Group]
While many Brits were keen to forget all about 2020 as soon as the clock struck twelve on December 31, the Science Museum Group has other plans. Displaying this empty vial is their way of both capturing the momentous occasion of the world’s first coronavirus vaccination and acknowledging the hard work and dedication of scientists, technicians, frontline workers, and volunteers who helped bring it to fruition.
There are a number of remarkable items currently in the museum that tell the stories of past pandemics, and this will be the newest addition. This initiative is part of the museum’s Covid-19 Collecting Project, which aims to exhibit a few poignant items that represent the pandemic. NHS home swab tests, ventilators, homemade face masks, prototype medical technology, and art inspired by the events of the year, will also be included.
The chief commercial officer, Dr Emily Lawson, said “This is the biggest global health challenge in generations and Maggie aged 90 from Coventry getting the very first jab, and so kickstarting the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history, marks a significant turning point in our fight against coronavirus.”
The display will be found in the Medicine: The Welcome Galleries collection at the Science Museum early in 2021.