What's in the Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines?
COVID Vaccine Ingredients
There are two COVID-19 messenger-ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccines currently authorized for emergent use in the United States: the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna vaccines. Conventional vaccines rely on weakened and inactivated pathogens or a fragment of the pathogen to trigger an immune response. In contrast, the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines use a novel approach by which mRNA is delivered into our cells to provide the genetic instructions for our own cells to “temporarily” make a “specific” viral protein that triggers an immune response.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is made of the following ingredients:
mRNA – Also known as messenger ribonucleic acid, mRNA is the only active ingredient in the vaccine. The mRNA molecules contain the genetic material that provide instructions for our body on how to make a viral protein that triggers an immune response within our bodies. The immune response is what causes our bodies to make the antibodies needed to protect us from getting infected if exposed to the coronavirus.
There are rumors that mRNA vaccines will alter our DNA because the RNA molecule can convert information stored in DNA into proteins. That’s simply, not true. It’s critical to note that the mRNA vaccines never enter the nucleus of the cell, where our DNA is stored. After injection, the mRNA from the vaccine is released into the cytoplasm of the cells. Once the viral protein is made and on the surface of the cell, mRNA is broken down and the body permanently gets rid of it, therefore making it impossible to change our DNA.
Lipids – The following lipids are in the new COVID vaccine. Their main role is to protect the mRNA and provide somewhat of a “greasy” exterior that helps the mRNA slide inside the cells.
(2-hexyldecanoate), 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide
Salts – The following salts are included in the Pfizer vaccine and help balance the acidity in your body.
monobasic potassium phosphate
dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate
Sugar – Basic table sugar, also known as sucrose, can also be found in the new COVID vaccine. This ingredient helps the molecules maintain their shape during freezing.
The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine is made of the following ingredients:
mRNA – Like the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, Moderna’s also uses mRNA technology to build antibodies against COVID-19.
Lipids – The Moderna vaccine also requires lipids to help deliver the mRNA to the cells.
1,2-dimyristoyl-rac-glycero3-methoxypolyethylene glycol-2000 [PEG2000-DMG]
The remaining ingredients (below), including acids, acid stabilizers, salt and sugar all work together to maintain the stability of the vaccine after it’s produced.
Tromethamine & Tromethamine hydrochloride
For more informations please check out:
Pfizer Vaccine Handout:
Moderna Vaccine Handout: