The first vaccinations at the Science Museum were delivered yesterday.
One year after it was forced to close due to the Covid-19 pandemic, London’s Science Museum has reopened with a new purpose: as a mass vaccination hub. With the museum not scheduled to open until at least May 17 (under England’s lockdown easing roadmap), it’s found a new role in helping to get needles into arms, and to protect more people from coronavirus.
In fact, the Science Museum has now become the first national museum in the UK to host a vaccination centre, offering more resources and flexibility to help the NHS deliver the largest vaccination effort in British history. Yesterday (March 11), Jean Adkins became the first person to receive her vaccine at the Science Museum, and she certainly won’t be the last.
Sir Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum, said: “It’s wonderful to see part of the Science Museum repurposed for this country’s most pressing task in a generation, vaccinating the adult population. Uniquely, our museum can both tell the story of how vaccination has saved millions of lives, and also play a part in ensuring vaccines protect the nation from COVID-19. It is an extraordinary sensation to be collecting and living history all at once.”
The Science Museum has already made headlines during the coronavirus pandemic, as it was revealed in December that the vial from Britain’s first Covid-19 vaccine (a Pfizer/BioNTech jab given to Margaret Keenan) will go on display there in 2021. NHS England has also donated up the first vial of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to join the collection, which will be display in ‘Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries’ upon reopening. It’s the largest gallery in the world dedicated to the history of medicine, and the vials will also be joined by testing kits and signage from government briefings. Let’s hope they feel like objects from ancient history sooner rather than later!
Speaking of vaccines, here’s how many people have received them in the UK.
Also published on Medium.