On November 8, 2020, the day that CSL in Australia confirmed it would manufacture one of the COVID-19 vaccines, photojournalist Chris Hopkins took a photo.
In the shot, scientists at CSL Broadmeadows in Victoria were at work, clad in sterile gowns and face masks. The photo is now on display at London’s Science Museum as part of a new exhibition called Injecting Hope: The race for a COVID-19 vaccine.
The exhibit includes numerous items that tell the story of the global pandemic and the scientific triumph that quickly delivered vaccines and saved lives. Visitors will encounter an artist’s interpretation of the COVID-19 virus – a glass-panel hologram that hovers with those familiar spikes. You also can see the chair many clinical trial participants sat in to receive trial doses, as well as the “Merry Christmas” t-shirt worn by a 90-year-old British woman, the first known recipient of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The Science Museum is one of several museums to quickly collect objects and put on exhibitions about the recent and still ongoing crisis. Last year, Cooper Hewitt, the Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City, launched “Design and Healing: Creative Responses to Pandemics.” In Florida, the HistoryMiami Museum put out a call to citizens in 2020 asking for artifacts and then put one of the items – a child’s Zoom homework instructions – on display.