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Portraits of the people who made vaccines possible

BMJ 2021; 372 doi: (Published 04 March 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;372:n595
  1. Alison Shepherd
  1. The BMJ

A year ago when the pandemic took hold of the world Fran Monks, a British portrait photographer, began to use Zoom to take pictures of people in lockdown all over the world.

Then in December she began a series of portraits of people who had participated in vaccine trials.

“They are ordinary people, driven by a desire to do their bit to help save lives and bring an end to repeated lockdowns,” Monks says of her sitters on her website. “I have spoken to people in a wide range of situations. The old and young, the high risk and low risk, those with and without family support.

“Without their participation in the trials, frontline healthcare workers and the most vulnerable members of the population would not be being vaccinated already, less than a year after the first case of covid-19 was reported in the UK. I feel very grateful to them.”

Pictured are:

1. Maureen (from Atlanta, a pharmaceutical salesperson, participating in the Novavax trial), wanted to give back after surviving meningitis as a child.

2. Neil (London, radiographer, Pfizer) hoped to protect his immunosuppressed husband.

3. Amber (Los Angeles, science journalist, Pfizer) wanted to be part of the story.

4. Connie (California, retired, Pfizer) said she was doing it for her family.

5. Lance (chemistry professor, Georgia, US, Novavax) wanted to show other African Americans vaccines are safe.

6. Laura (Los Angeles, headhunter, Pfizer) wanted to do something after being so close to so many deaths.

7. Guillaume (Oxford, academic researcher, Novavax) says his family is proud of him.

8. Sumit (London, civil servant, Ensemble 2 Janssen) thought as a British Asian that volunteering was important.

9. Lesley (Kidlington, Oxfordshire, retired, Oxford-AstraZeneca) wanted to be helpful after a career in medical environments.


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