COVID-19 | What are the ingredients in the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine?

It is the fastest spreading COVID-19 vaccine around the world – apart from Russia’s Sputnik V, with limited expansion – and it could soon be in the veins of Europeans. It is already being administered on a massive scale in the UK and the US.

Despite the mystery that seems to surround the composition of vaccines, the US, Canadian and British drug agencies have released the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine component list.

It is a legal obligation and a precautionary measure, because sand you suspect it might cause reactions in people with a history of severe allergies.

Pfizer itself, in its explanatory page about the vaccine, precise that the US FDA has not approved the vaccine, but only authorized its use due to the emergency situation that has caused the pandemic.

The strangest or most revolutionary thing about the vaccine is its active principle: the Messenger RNA or mRNA, which is used for the first time in a vaccine. It is genetic information of the real virus that gives the body enough information to react against future invasions, without the need to inoculate the virus like other types of vaccines.

Specifically, it encodes the S glycoprotein of the virus, the “spike” or “spike” that SARS CoV 2 uses to invade cells and which gives it its characteristic shape. This information allows the body to react when faced with the true coronavirus.

The fragile mRNA needs to be transported in a particle that contains mainly lipids (fats) and sugars to be able to enter the cells of the body. That is why it must be kept at temperatures of -70º C, which is one of its main disadvantages and a logistical challenge to supply it en masse.

The lipids present in the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine are:

  • (4-hidroxibutilo) azanediol) bis (hexano-6,1-diol) bis (ALC-3015)
  • (2- hexildecanoato), 2 – [(polietilenglicol) -2000] -N, N-ditetradecilacetamida (ALC-0159)
  • 1,2-distearoyl-sglycero-3-phosphocholine (DPSC)
  • Cholesterol

It also contains saccharose, which helps to preserve the particles

And one Saline solution quite common, composed of:

The main function of the salts is to regulate the acidity of the vaccine.

In a expert vaccine analysis, The journal of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology explains that Pfizer has probably not published 100% of the ingredients, because the genetic sequence of the virus’s mRNA and the exact nucleosides it has modified are not known. “We believe that Pfizer has not specified exactly what sequence it uses or which nucleosides it has modified. This means that the content of the vaccine may not be 100% public,” says author Antonio Regalado.

In view of these components it is difficult to say what caused allergic reactions in two employees of the British health service. Some experts believe that it could be due to a reaction when stimulating the immune system.

The prospectus published by Pfizer It also details the possible side effects:

  • injection site pain

  • fatigue

  • headache

  • Muscle pain

  • shaking chills

  • Joint pain

  • fever

  • swelling or redness at the injection site

  • sickness

  • Feeling unwell

  • swollen lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy)

It also warns of a “remote chance” of a severe allergic reaction and no known serious side effects. It is also noted that it is not known at the moment how long it protects from the virus that causes COVID-19.

The vaccine has been developed in record time and raises many questions, but its ingredients are quite common, beyond messenger RNA technology and it has neither aluminum nor the mysterious components that are attributed to it in certain anti-vaccine forums.