What’s In The Vaccines?

People say over and over ‘but I don’t know what’s in it’, so here’s the downlow… The ingredients of the most common vaccines for Covid19.

The Covid 19 vaccine has understandably been met with skepticism considering it is a relatively new vaccine. To help clear some doubts about the vaccines, here is a simple breakdown of what they are made of and the purpose of the different components.

 Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for 12 years old and above [1]

(https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/Pfizer-BioNTech.html )

Type of Ingredient
Ingredient
Purpose
Messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA)
Nucleoside-modified mRNA encoding the viral (S) glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2
Provides instructions the body uses to build a harmless piece of a protein from the virus that causes COVID-19. This protein causes an immune response that helps protect the body from getting sick with COVID-19 in the future.
Lipids (fats)
- PEG2000-DMG: 1,2-dimyristoyl-rac-glycerol, methoxypolyethylene glycol
- 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine
- BotaniChol® (non-animal origin cholesterol)
- SM-102: heptadecane-9-yl 8-((2-hydroxyethyl) (6-oxo-6-(undecyloxy) hexyl) amino) octanoate
Work together to help the mRNA enter cells.
Salts and sugar
- Sodium acetate
- Sucrose (basic table sugar)
- Tromethamine
- Tromethamine hydrochloride
- Acetic acid (the main ingredient in white household vinegar)
Work together to help keep the vaccine molecules stable while the vaccine is manufactured, frozen, shipped, and stored until it is ready to be given to a vaccine recipient.

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Ingredients [2]

(https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/Moderna.html)

Type of Ingredient
Ingredient
Purpose
Messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA)
Nucleoside-modified mRNA encoding the viral (S) glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2
Provides instructions the body uses to build a harmless piece of a protein from the virus that causes COVID-19. This protein causes an immune response that helps protect the body from getting sick with COVID-19 in the future.
Lipids (fats)
- PEG2000-DMG: 1,2-dimyristoyl-rac-glycerol, methoxypolyethylene glycol
- 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine
- Cholesterol (plant derived)
- ((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate)
Work together to help the mRNA enter cells.
Salt, sugar, acid stabilizers, and acid
- Dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate
- Monobasic potassium
- Potassium chloride (food salt)
- Sodium chloride (table salt)
- Sucrose (table sugar)
Work together to help keep the vaccine molecules stable while the vaccine is manufactured, frozen, shipped, and stored until it is ready to be given to a vaccine recipient.

Unlike most other vaccines, the  Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines don’t contain thimerosal, mercury, or antibiotics. This has made mRNA vaccines more appealing for many people wary of these particular substances.

Along with the mRNA itself, lipids, salts, acids and sugars are the only additional ingredients for the sole purpose of protecting the mRNA and maintaining the vaccines potency.

Here’s a simple breakdown:

  • Lipids act as a ‘carrier’ for the mRNA which protects it from dissolving as it travels through the bloodstream.
  • Acids, acid stabilizers and salt are used to keep the vaccine stable and maintain its potency. 
  • Sugars maintain the effectiveness of a vaccine after it has been made as well as keeping it stable. [3]

Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine Ingredients [4]

(https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/janssen.html)

Type of Ingredient
Ingredient
Purpose
A harmless version of a virus unrelated to the COVID-19 virus
- Recombinant, replication-incompetent Ad26 vector, endcoing a stablized variant of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) protein
Provides instructions the body uses to build a harmless piece of a protein from the virus that causes COVID-19. This protein causes an immune response that helps protect the body from getting sick with COVID-19 in the future.
- Polysorbate-80
- 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin
- Trisodium citrate dihydrate
- Sodium chloride (basic table salt)
- Citric acid monohydrate (closely related to lemon juice)
- Ethanol (a type of alcohol)
Work together to help keep the vaccine molecules stable while the vaccine is manufactured, shipped, and stored until it is ready to be given to a vaccine recipient.

VAXZEVRIA (Astrazeneca) Vaccine Ingredients [5]

Medicinal ingredients

  • ChAdOx1-S [recombinant] 

*Recombinant, replication-deficient chimpanzee adenovirus (common viruses that cause cold-like symptoms) vector encoding the SARS-CoV-2 Spike glycoprotein. Produced in genetically modified human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells. 

Simply put, the Astrazeneca vaccine uses a harmless weakened adenovirus that causes the common cold in chimpanzees and NOT to be misinterpreted to contain chimpanzee parts. [6]

Non-medicinal ingredients

  • Ethanol, to act as a solvent and dissolve other vaccine ingredients
  • Disodium edetate dihydrate (EDTA), to preserve and keep the vaccine stable
  • L-Histidine, an amino acid used to maintain and stabilize the ph of the vaccine
  • L-Histidine hydrochloride monohydrate, a stabilizer
  • Magnesium chloride hexahydrate, a stabilizer
  • Polysorbate 80, a stabilizer
  • Sodium chloride, or better known as ordinary table salt
  • Sucrose derived from sugar cane or sugar beet
  • Water for injection

As you can see, the Janssen and Astrazeneca vaccines DO contain more complex ingredients, and also strands of other viruses. This is one reason some people have avoided these particular vaccines. 

When it comes to discussing vaccine ingredients and their purpose, it’s best to consult a medical professional and also research credible sites and the official information from the manufacturers, who are legally obligated to publish accurate information. 

As you can see, there’s a variety of Covid-19 vaccines which employ different methods to trigger an immune response. Educating yourself with vaccine information can help you decide what’s the best route for you when it comes to vaccines.

For some controversial insights on vaccines and the potential dangers they may hold, you may be interested in watching a new docuseries called, Covid Secrets. >>Register and decide for yourself!

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