Politicising the first covid-19 vaccine
Sjoerd Ramackers (University of Amsterdam)
These are political objects, symbols of hope and exclusion. This ampoule and syringe, fabricated by Pfizer-BioNTech, were used for the first Dutch vaccination against Covid-19 in January, 2021. This was the start of the biggest vaccination campaign ever in The Netherlands, where people get vaccinated since the 19th century. The inoculation of nurse Sanna Elkadiri was broadcast live. With it, the government presented a message of hope: this is the beginning of the end. However, these objects are also symbols of exclusion. People who refused the vaccine felt oppressed, and the vaccine was only widely available in the Western world.