facebook linkedin twitter

Smithsonian Collects COVID-19 Artifacts

March 9, 2021 by TWN Staff
Sandra Lindsay, left, a nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, is inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by Dr. Michelle Chester, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, in the Queens borough of New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, Pool)

WASHINGTON – The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has aquired the vial that contained the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine administered in the United States as part of its plans to document the global pandemic and “this extraordinary period we were going through.”

The first doses of vaccine were administered Dec. 14 by Northwell Health, a New York-based health provider. The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic March 11, 2020.

Sandra Lindsay, an intensive care nurse with Northwell Health, was the first person known to receive the vaccine in the U.S.

Northwell donated the now-empty Pfizer-BioNTech vial that contained the first dose, as well as Lindsay’s vaccination record card, scrubs and hospital identification badge.

The acquisition further includes additional vials from doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines administered at Northwell, as well as the supplies needed to prepare, inject and track the vaccinations, such as diluent, syringes and vaccination record cards.

Northwell also donated shipping materials that document the enormous effort required to support vaccine distribution and preserve vaccine potency, such as a specialized vaccine “shipper” that monitors and maintains temperature.

“The urgent need for effective vaccines in the U.S. was met with unprecedented speed and emergency review and approval,” said Anthea M. Hartig, the museum’s Elizabeth MacMillan director. “These now historic artifacts document not only this remarkable scientific progress but represent the hope offered to millions living through the cascading crises brought on by COVID-19.”

“Dec. 14 was a historic moment for all: the day the very first COVID-19 vaccine was administered in the United States,” said Michael Dowling, president and CEO of Northwell Health. “It was our first real sign of hope after so many dark months in the fight against the global pandemic. Northwell was prepared to put shots in arms as soon as the vaccine arrived, not to make history but to protect our frontline workers battling COVID-19 as quickly as possible.

“But when Sandra Lindsay rolled up her sleeve, we weren’t just showing our team members the safety and efficacy of this groundbreaking vaccine—we were telling the world that our country was beginning a new fight back to normalcy. It was an extraordinary moment, and I thank the Smithsonian for preserving this important milestone,” Dowling said.

In April 2020, the museum formed a rapid-response collecting task force to address the COVID-19 pandemic and document the scientific and medical events as well as the effects and responses in the areas of business, work, politics and culture.

Due to health and safety protocols, the museum is only able to bring a limited number of artifacts into the building. Additional artifacts related to the pandemic will be brought in and processed when the museum returns to full operation.

The museum’s staff also canvassed the nation, asking what it should collect to document this pandemic. The public can continue to make suggestions at [email protected] and share their Stories of 2020 at a site that will serve as a digital time capsule for future generations. The portal, open through April, will accept stories in English or Spanish and photos or short video.

A+
a-

Museums

9/11 Artifacts Share 'Pieces of Truth' in Victims' Stories

NEW YORK (AP) — For nearly six years, Andrea Haberman's ashen and damaged wallet lay mostly untouched in a drawer... Read More

NEW YORK (AP) — For nearly six years, Andrea Haberman's ashen and damaged wallet lay mostly untouched in a drawer at her parents' Wisconsin home, along with a partly melted cell phone, her driver's license, credit cards, checkbook and house keys. Flecks of rust had formed... Read More

June 30, 2021
by Dan McCue
Library of Congress Jefferson Building to Reopen

The Library of Congress will reopen the doors of the Thomas Jefferson Building to the public with timed entry passes... Read More

The Library of Congress will reopen the doors of the Thomas Jefferson Building to the public with timed entry passes beginning on July 15, the library announced Thursday. The free passes will be available three days a week, and will only be good for a limited... Read More

April 26, 2021
by TWN Staff
Smithsonian to Reopen Seven Museums, National Zoo in May

The Smithsonian Institution will reopen seven of its museums and the National Zoon in May. The revival of the museums... Read More

The Smithsonian Institution will reopen seven of its museums and the National Zoon in May. The revival of the museums will begin on Wednesday, May 5, with the reopening of the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., and will continue... Read More

March 9, 2021
by TWN Staff
Smithsonian Collects COVID-19 Artifacts

WASHINGTON - The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has aquired the vial that contained the first dose of COVID-19... Read More

WASHINGTON - The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has aquired the vial that contained the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine administered in the United States as part of its plans to document the global pandemic and “this extraordinary period we were going through.” The first... Read More

January 15, 2021
by Dan McCue
Smithsonian Collecting Items from U.S. Capitol Riot

WASHINGTON - The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History has begun collecting items left behind by the protestors who... Read More

WASHINGTON - The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History has begun collecting items left behind by the protestors who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The riot, stoked by President Donald Trump, left five people dead. It was the first time since the War... Read More

November 19, 2020
by Dan McCue
Smithsonian Institution to Re-Close Museums, National Zoo Due to COVID Spike

WASHINGTON - The Smithsonian Institution will temporarily re-close all of its museums and the National Zoo due to the rising... Read More

WASHINGTON - The Smithsonian Institution will temporarily re-close all of its museums and the National Zoo due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the region and across the country. The closures, which will begin Monday, Nov. 23, will impact all eight Smithsonian facilities in... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top