Mancs can learn all about the race for a COVID vaccine in this new Science and Industry Museum exhibition

Tickets are now available to book for FREE.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 10th July 2024

More than 100 objects and stories collected during the peak of the pandemic are to go on display as part of a new exhibition opening in Manchester.

Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum is preparing to open its doors to a major new exhibition that examines the global and local response to the COVID-19 pandemic that changed the world as we know it.

The groundbreaking new exhibition, titled Injecting Hope: The race for a COVID-19 vaccine, will explore the worldwide effort to develop vaccines at pandemic speed, while uncovering the inspiring stories of scientists and innovators around the globe who collaborated to tackle the worldwide COVID-19 challenge along the way.

The exhibition comes to Manchester as part of a national and international tour, following its inaugural run at the Science Museum in London back in 2022.

Opening at the city centre-based museum next Friday (19 July), and set to run right through until mid-November this year, the free-to-attend exhibition will also look at the unique experiences and responses to the pandemic from communities in Manchester.


It’ll do this through showcasing a wide range of fascinating objects and stories that’ll be on public display in our city for the first time ever.

Some of the objects curious Mancs will get to see with their own eyes at the new exhibition include one of the 750 innovative flat-pack beds used in the NHS Nightingale Hospital North West, the vial of the first COVID-19 vaccine ever to be administered worldwide, and tokens taken from Manchester’s Rates Hall vaccine centre.


Personal items belonging to those at the heart of the vaccine’s development, and breathtaking artwork pieces by Angela Palmer and Junko Mori to help visitors visualise the virus, will also be on display.

But, what is expected to the star of the show for many Mancunians, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham’s navy worker’s jacket – which has been loaned from People’s History Museum – that he often wore as he addressed the region directly to discuss the tough restrictions we were placed under as COVID-19 cases increased, will be displayed for the first time at the exhibition.

The now-iconic jacket became a symbol of the hardships experienced during the pandemic, as well as the unity of the North West

More than 100 objects and stories will be on display to the Manchester public for the first time / Credit: Science Museum Group

Museum bosses say Injecting Hope “builds on the fascinating and important work” the Science Museum Group – which the Science and Industry Museum belongs to – has undertaken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic over the past four years.

Andrea Lathrop, who is the Associate Curator of Exhibitions at the Science and Industry Museum, explains that the new Manchester-focused content introduced as part of the exhibition’s run in our city offers a “poignant opportunity for joint reflection”, as well as “moments to celebrate the ingenuity, resilience, and selflessness” of local people.

She continued: “Injecting Hope is a people-centred exhibition that shines a light on those behind the headlines who innovated vaccine science, sat in bed on their laptops, volunteered in vaccine centres, and exposed themselves to the virus day after day to keep us safe.”

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Injecting Hope: The race for a COVID-19 vaccine will open at the Science and Industry Museum on Friday 19 July, and will run until Sunday 17 November.

Free tickets are now available to book on the museum’s website here.

Featured Image – Science Museum Group