Smithsonian receives vial from the first Covid-19 vaccine dose administered in the US

By Sarah Fortinsky, CNN

    (CNN) -- The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History has received the vial from the first authorized Covid-19 vaccine dose administered in the United States, along with other artifacts related to the record-breaking vaccine process.

Northwell Health, which administered the vaccine, donated the vial from intensive care unit nurse Sandra Lindsay's Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination.

It also donated her vaccination record card, her scrubs, and her hospital identification badge. Lindsay is the first person known to have received the vaccine following its authorization by the US Food and Drug Administration in December.

Along with Lindsay's vaccine vial, the Smithsonian received vials from other Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. It also received syringes, diluents, and vaccination records related to the administration process.

Northwell also gifted the Smithsonian artifacts involved in the shipping process of the vaccines and objects that helped maintain and monitor its temperature.

"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, according to a Smithsonian news release.

"It was our first real sign of hope after so many dark months in the fight against the global pandemic. ... 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.

The museum formed a task force in April 2020 aimed at chronicling events from the past year as well as documenting the effects the pandemic has had on businesses, work, politics, and culture, the Smithsonian release reads. Earlier this month, Dr. Anthony Fauci donated to the museum his personal 3D model that he would often bring to meetings and press conferences to help explain the coronavirus.

"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, according to the Smithsonian release.

"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."

The Smithsonian has created a digital portal for the public to make suggestions about what to include in the collection and share their own pandemic stories. It's open through April.

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