The pharmacist draws a vaccine from a vialPhoto: Tong_stocker (Shutterstock)

The vaccine ingredient lists are simple and straightforward, with no ingredients that are considered to be a significant threat to human health, and no aluminum, mercury, or human cells. The ingredient lists for both mRNA vaccines contain only three types of ingredients:

  • the mRNA
  • Lipids with very long names (these are basically fancy oils and they form the coating around the mRNA)
  • Sugars, salts and / or simple chemical buffers

In the Pfizer vaccine, the third category includes potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and sucrose. These may sound scientific, but you probably have three of them in your kitchen (sucrose is sugar, sodium chloride is salt, and potassium chloride is sodium-free salt). Here is the fact sheet for the Pfizer vaccinethat contains the list of ingredients.

The Moderna vaccine consists of different ingredients, but with the same formula. In addition to the mRNA and lipids, it contains tromethamine, tromethamine hydrochloride, acetic acid, sodium acetate and sucrose. Again, these are extremely common, simple ingredients in medicinal solutions. Tromethamine is just Tris buffer that you may have used in science class. Acetic acid is the acidic component of vinegar. Sucrose is sugar. Here is the information sheet for the Moderna vaccine.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine contains the adenovirus with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, salts, ethanol (alcohol), a preservative called polysorbate-80, and a chemical called 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin, which make the vaccine components work properly mixed holds. Here is the fact sheet for that Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Even before COVID, there was a lot of misinformation about vaccines. Sometimes people heard that a certain ingredient was in some vaccines and concluded that it must be in all vaccines. Like mercury, which is found in very few vaccines. (It used to be more.) Let’s go over a couple of things that aren’t in the COVID vaccine:

  • The COVID vaccines do not contain aluminum or mercury.
  • The COVID vaccines do not contain any preservatives (except for polysorbate-80 in J&J).
  • The COVID vaccines do not contain fetal cells.
  • The COVID vaccines do not contain microchips.

There are no fetal cells in the COVID vaccines

Some vaccines are developed in cell lines grown in laboratories, and in some cases these cells are derived from cells originally grown from human fetal tissue. This has led to a myth that “pieces of aborted babies” are in vaccines, which is not true at all.

The Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines are not grown in fetal or other cells. Remember, they’re just an mRNA. Laboratory machines can synthesize these without the involvement of cells. Both Pfizer and Moderna used some fetal cell lines for some of the tests they did when developing the vaccine, but not for making the vaccine itself.

Although the Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a fetal cell line in its manufacture, there are no fetal cells in the vaccines themselves. Also, to be very clear, making the vaccine does not require the collection of new fetal cells. The cells are grown in the laboratory and come from an 18-week fetus that ended in 1985.

If this is a problem for you or your loved ones, it will be approved by the Pope Declaration by the American Bishops’ Conference can help understand how a vaccine tested on fetal cell lines fits into an anti-abortion religious framework. The bishops argue that the “distant link” of vaccine development with abortion should not undermine the fact that “safe vaccination against COVID-19 should be viewed as an act of love for our neighbor and part of our moral responsibility for the common good. ”(The same group recommends that Catholics choose the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines whenever possible.)