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Empty vial and syringe from the world’s first Covid-19 vaccination saved by Science Museum

Empty vial of the world’s first Covid vaccination which was given to Margaret Keenan, 90, last week will go on display at the Science Museum

  • Margaret Keenan was first person in the world to get the vaccine outside trials
  • Her jab at 6:45am on December 8 marked a turning point in fight against Covid
  • Empty vials and syringes are normally carefully discarded following use 
  • But this was salvaged and sent to the Science Museum where it will go on display

The vial and syringe of the first ever Covid-19 vaccination will go on display next year at the Science Museum. 

On December 8, a 90-year-old grandmother in Coventry became the first person in the world to receive a Covid-19 vaccine outside of clinical trials. 

The eyes of the world were trained on Margaret Keenan as she got the jab at 6:45am when a nurse injected her arm with the mRNA vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech.

The momentous occasion made global headlines and offered the first glimmer of hope for months that the Covid-19 pandemic, which has claimed more than 1.6million lives worldwide, may be drawing to an end.

It may soon become known as one of the greatest triumphs in all of science, with Mrs Keenan’s dose likely to be etched into the history books. 

As a result of its gravity, both the empty vial and Mrs Keenan’s syringe have been saved from the biohazard scrapheap by the Science Museum.  

The vial (pictured) and syringe of the first ever Covid-19 vaccination will go on display next year at the Science Museum

Tomorrow, Mrs Keenan will celebrate her 91st birthday and the vial and syringe will join the Science Museum Group Collection.

It will form part of a special collection built to highlight the role scientists played in the Covid-19 pandemic.

Other items include prototype medical technology, NHS home swabs and ventilators.

Early in 2021, the vial will go on display in a display called ‘Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries’ at the Museum in South Kensington, London. 

Pictured, Professor Stephen Powis (left), National Medical Director of NHS England and Natasha McEnroe, Keeper of Medicine at the Science Museum, with the first vial of COVID vaccine

Pictured, Professor Stephen Powis (left), National Medical Director of NHS England and Natasha McEnroe, Keeper of Medicine at the Science Museum, with the first vial of COVID vaccine

Pictured, Margaret Keenan, who turns 91 tomorrow, makes history as she gets the first ever Covid-19 jab in the world

Pictured, Margaret Keenan, who turns 91 tomorrow, makes history as she gets the first ever Covid-19 jab in the world

It will form the latest entry of a timeline dedicated to the history of vaccination, the museum said in a blog post.  

Dr Emily Lawson, chief commercial officer and vaccine lead for the NHS, was involved in ensuring the vial and syringe were salvaged for history’s sake. 

‘As a scientist who eagerly visited the science museum as a young girl I am delighted that these NHS and world first items will be hosted here, rightly documenting the historic moment for generations to come,’ said Dr Lawson. 

‘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.’ 

A conscious effort was made to save the vial as such items are easy to lose due to the single-use and disposable nature of healthcare items and the rapid turnaround that hospitals go through daily. 

Today, the first American got a dose of the touted Pfizer vaccine which is hailed as being 95 per cent effective.  

NY ICU nurse becomes first American to receive COVID-19 vaccine 

The largest vaccination campaign in US history is now underway with an intensive care nurse in New York becoming the first to receive a COVID-19 shot this morning as the death toll from the virus neared 300,000.

Sandra Lindsay received the Pfizer shot at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens just before 9.30am this morning during a livestream with New York Gov Andrew Cuomo.

‘It didn’t feel any different from taking any other vaccine,’ Lindsay said. ‘I feel hopeful today, relieved. I feel like healing is coming. I hope this marks the beginning of the end of a very painful time in our history. I want to instill public confidence that the vaccine is safe.’

‘This is the light at the end of the tunnel. But it’s a long tunnel,’ Cuomo said as he watched via video.

President Donald Trump tweeted just moments after the ICU nurse received her dose: ‘First Vaccine Administered. Congratulations USA! Congratulations WORLD!’

Shipments of the frozen vaccine vials began arriving at hospitals around the country first thing this morning so health care workers, as well as nursing home residents, can be the first to receive the shots in a bid to beat the pandemic that has claimed 299,163 American lives and infected more than 16.25 million.

The first of the vaccinations were administered on a day where the COVID-19 death toll approached the harrowing 300,000 milestone and cases and hospitalizations posted new record highs over the past week.

NEW YORK: An intensive care nurse in New York, Sandra Lindsay, is among the first in the country to receive a COVID-19 shot this morning. She was vaccinated at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens just before 9.30am this morning during a livestream with New York Gov Andrew Cuomo

NEW YORK: An intensive care nurse in New York, Sandra Lindsay, is among the first in the country to receive a COVID-19 shot this morning. She was vaccinated at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens just before 9.30am this morning during a livestream with New York Gov Andrew Cuomo



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