What are the Ingredients and Excipients in the COVID-19 Vaccines? Update including Johnson & Johnson’s Vaccine

What’s in a vaccine?
With the emergence of COVID-19, the crucial role that vaccines play in protecting our health has come into sharp focus. During this pandemic hope comes in the form of a vaccine and immunologists around the world are working to develop a vaccine that will protect us against infection by this new coronavirus. It’s important to understand and address vaccine concerns that are prominent in public discussion and may lead to hesitancy to vaccination. Here we discuss questions about the ingredients found in a vaccine. (Source: www.immunology.org)

Source: www.immunology.org

Why you can’t compare Covid-19 vaccines

Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine ingredients (Source cdc.gov)

One dose (o.5 ml) contains: Recombinant, replication- incompetent Ad26 vector, encoding a stabilized variant of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) protein

  • Polysorbate-80
  • 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin
  • Citric acid monohydrate
  • Trisodium citrate dihydrate
  • Sodium chloride
  • Sodium hydroxide
  • Hydrochloric acid
  • Ethanol
  • Water for injection

Vaccine Preparation and Administration Summary


AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine ingredients (Source Gov.UK)
One dose (0.5 ml) contains: COVID-19 Vaccine (ChAdOx1-S* recombinant) 5 × 10^10 viral particles (vp)

*Recombinant, replication-deficient chimpanzee adenovirus vector encoding the SARS CoV 2 Spike (S) glycoprotein. Produced in genetically modified human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells.

Excipients 

  • L-Histidine
  • L-Histidine hydrochloride monohydrate
  • Magnesium chloride hexahydrate
  • Polysorbate 80
  • Ethanol
  • Sucrose
  • Sodium chloride
  • Disodium edetate dihydrate
  • Water for injections

mRNA vaccines by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna
Covid-19 vaccination has been a big topic and we were curious on the role of excipients in such formulations. Not surprisingly both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna (source FDA) have quite similar compositions: Active Ingredient, Lipids and a saline solution. Lipid (oil) “bubbles” are tiny bubbles of lipid (oil) surround and protect the mRNA so cells in your body can pick it up both vaccines have Cholesterol as part of the composition. The Saline (salt) solutions are also different. Pfizer-BioNTech uses a common type of saline called phosphate buffer solution, or PBS. Moderna uses a tris buffer which aims to make the pH level of the vaccine close to that of our bodies. (Kerry McGee, MD)

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine ingredients (Source FDA)
mRNA (nucleoside-modified messenger RNA (modRNA) encoding the viral spike glycoprotein (S) of SARS-CoV-2)

Lipids

  • (4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate)
  • 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide
  • 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3- phosphocholine
  • Cholesterol

Salts

  • Potassium chloride
  • Monobasic potassium phosphate
  • Sodium chloride
  • Dibasic sodium phosphate dehydrate

Other

  • Sucrose

Moderna COVID-19 vaccine ingredients (Source FDA )
mRNA (Nucleoside-modified mRNA encoding the viral spike (S) glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2)

Lipids

  • SM-102
  • 1,2-dimyristoyl-rac-glycero3-methoxypolyethylene glycol-2000 [PEG2000-DMG]
  • 1,2-distearoyl-snglycero-3-phosphocholine [DSPC]
  • Cholesterol

Salts

  • Tromethamine
  • Tromethamine hydrochloride
  • Acetic acid
  • Sodium acetate

Other

  • Sucrose

Successful drug development with synthetic lipids: critical aspects and strategies

Lipids are gaining enhanced momentum due to their vital role in the field of RNA therapeutics and vaccine development for diseases such as cancer and COVID-19. Read more in this article


COVID-19 vaccines and the role of other potential allergenic components different from PEG

Article by Natalija Novak, Cezmi Akdis, and Beatriz Cabanillas from the University Bonn and Zürich. January 25, 2021 – preprint / not peer-reviewed. COVID-19 vaccines and the role of other potential allergenic components different from PEG

MORE ABOUT COVID-19 AND EXCIPIENTS

 


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World Immunization Week

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