Anniversary of Bolton’s first Covid-19 vaccination is boxed off


A small cardboard box will help to mark the huge achievement of Bolton’s Covid-19 vaccination programme as the town reaches the anniversary of its first life-saving jab.

On December 15 2020, Dr Helen Wall, senior responsible officer for the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Bolton, gave the town’s first vaccinations to Ann and Michael Clubley.

The vaccines in question arrived at Tonge Moor Health Centre in a small box that contained 195 vials of the Pfizer vaccine.

The box has now been presented to Bolton Library and Museum Service as a reminder of the historical moment. 

Dr Helen Wall said: “I remember feeling so incredibly proud to be giving the first people in Bolton their vaccination and to be leading the vaccination team for the whole of Bolton.

“It’s amazing really that a small cardboard box - which essentially looks like it could hold a 7 inch pizza - played such an important part in the history of Bolton! The contents of that box potentially saved the lives of more than 1,000 people.

“The past 12 months have had their ups and downs and colleagues are exhausted, but I continue to be proud of the way everyone has pulled together for the benefit of our community. I’d like to thank all those involved and those who have supported the vaccination programme. We still have a lot of hard work ahead, but we are made of tough stuff in Bolton!”

Each box contained 195 vials of the Pfizer vaccine, with each vial containing up to six doses.

Since December 2020, around 500,000 vaccinations have been given in Bolton, including first, second, third and booster doses to more than 200,000 eligible residents.

Councillor Susan Baines, Bolton Council’s executive cabinet member for wellbeing, said: “We are thrilled to take possession of the box that contained the very first Covid vaccine in Bolton. It may seem plain or ordinary on the surface, but it will help to tell the story of Bolton in 100 years’ time, and how we all shared this journey of a pandemic from a local perspective.

“As someone who is still involved directly in the vaccine roll out, it will serve as a reminder of how the whole community pulled together at the most challenging of times. The box is now on display in Bolton Museum, Le Mans Crescent with an explanation of its significance to the vaccination programme.”

The Pfizer box will be on display as part of the exhibition, ‘Caring Bolton: The Community Response to Covid-19’, until January 2, 2022. Afterwards it will be moved to a position in Central Library.

Dr Helen Wall, senior responsible officer for Bolton’s vaccination programme, hands over the box that contained Bolton's first Pfizer vaccines to Councillor Susan Baines, Bolton Council’s executive cabinet member for wellbeing for display at Bolton Museum.

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