Washington (AP) —Smithsonian National Museum of American History includes a pandemic and the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine given in the United States as part of a plan to record this extraordinary period we experienced. I got a vial. “
The acquisition, along with other material related to its first vaccination, was announced by the museum on Tuesday to commemorate the next first anniversary of the pandemic. Associated Press journalists have an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at newly obtained materials such as vials, special transport equipment, medical scrubs, and ID badges for nurses in New York City, the first coronavirus vaccinated in the United States. I got it.
“We wanted an object that tells a complete story,” said Anthia M. Heartig, the director of the museum. “Everything from scrubs to the freezing units that shipped the vaccine.”
Although there are many coronavirus-related anniversaries, the museum has chosen to commemorate Thursday, March 11, last year, when the World Health Organization declared a pandemic. It’s also the week when much of American life was closed due to the virus invading offices, homes and sporting events.
“Our broadest mission was to record this extraordinary period we experienced,” said Diane Went, curator of the museum’s medicine and science department. “We were particularly focused on vaccine development from the beginning.”
The first dose of the vaccine in the United States was given to intensive care nurse Sandra Lindsay on December 14, 2020 by Northwell Health, a New York-based healthcare provider. The Northwell donation includes the original Pfizer vial and a dedicated shipping container that is about the size of a refrigerator in a hotel room. It delivers ultra-low temperature Pfizer packed in dry ice.
“Our curators were particularly interested in the process and packaging,” said museum spokeswoman Melinda Machad. “The story of vaccines isn’t just about what’s in your arms.”
The National Museum of American History, along with other Smithsonian facilities, including the National Zoo, closed on March 13, last year. It resumed on a limited basis in September, but closed again about eight weeks before Thanksgiving as local virus counts began to recover.
But despite the doors closing, Heartig said the museum was a “quick response gathering task force” for curators looking for ways to tell the story of this era in American history. He said there was something called. Hartig also had a parallel curation crew collecting material from a wave of protests against police atrocities and racial torts last year, on January 6, 2021, by the then presidential supporters of the U.S. Capitol. He said he was investigating relics commemorating the attack on the United States. Donald Trump.
The new COVID-19 material joins the museum’s extensive medical collection, including one of the first batches of polio vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk in 1955, as well as special syringes and vaccination cards of the era. The collection also includes a blue and pink plastic COVID-19 model donated last week by Dr. Anthony Fauci, a longtime immunologist who has become synonymous with the fight against viruses.
Museum officials say they don’t know if coronavirus-related materials will be on display soon when the museum reopens later this year. For now, they plan to use them as part of a larger exhibit on the history of medicine, which will debut next year.
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Smithsonian gets vials from the first COVID-19 vaccine dose in the United States
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