How Mia Farrow and 30 Artists Are Highlighting the Importance of Vaccines

PHOTO: Alexia Sinclairs photo represents the first smallpox vaccine.Alexia Sinclair
Alexia Sinclair's photo represents the first smallpox vaccine.

A new collection of artwork commissioned by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation highlights the global impact of vaccines on preventable diseases.

More than 30 world-renowned artists participated in the project, including actress Mia Farrow and photographer Annie Leibovitz. The renowned group of musicians, writers, filmmakers, painters, sculptors and photographers from all around the world aimed to demonstrate how vaccines continue to positively change the course of history.

“The Art of Saving a Life showcases the remarkable history of vaccines, their impact saving lives today, and their potential to save the lives of even more children from infectious diseases,” said Chris Elias, president of the Global Development Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Alexia Sinclair’s stunning photo is a stylized recreation of Dr. Edward Jenner, an 18th-century physician, inoculating James Phipps, the first person to receive the smallpox vaccine.

Farrow had polio as a child and her 10-year-old son Thaddeus was left paralyzed by the disease. Farrow photographed this woman in the South Sudan who was similarly paralyzed by polio to demonstrate her strength and resilience.

PHOTO: Mia Farrows photo of a woman in the Sudan with polio.Mia Farrow
Mia Farrow's photo of a woman in the Sudan with polio.

A sculpture by British artist Katharine Dowson represents the HIV virus intertwined with antibodies, which may be the key for ultimately developing a vaccine.

PHOTO: Katharine Dawsons depiction of a dancer in her prime stricken with polio.Katharine Dawson
Katharine Dawson's depiction of a dancer in her prime stricken with polio.

German painter Thomas Ganter chose to paint the Unknown Health Worker to represent the people in every country who do their best to offer lifesaving services, including immunization. It was inspired by a health care worker in eastern Nepal who was carrying vaccine boxes on her shoulder.

PHOTO: The Unknown Health Worker represents the unsung heros of healthcare.Thomas Ganter
The Unknown Health Worker represents the unsung heros of healthcare.

With more than 20 million children globally in need of vaccination, artist Sophie Blackall wanted to illustrate the idea of how finding them can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. She represents how, in many cases, they are found and given the vaccinations and health services they need.

PHOTO: Sophie Blackalls illustration represents all the unvaccinated children in the world.Sophie Blackall
Sophie Blackall's illustration represents all the unvaccinated children in the world.