What About the “Ingredients” in the mRNA Vaccines?
A common claim for those in the medical freedom/anti-vaccine groups against vaccines are about the “ingredients” that are in vaccines. You’ll hear them make scary claims about mercury being in vaccines, about the aluminum, or about any number of other components within a vaccine. They will use scary names, make very strong statements about how these “ingredients” are linked to a laundry list of ailments, all with the express intent to dissuade you from receiving a vaccine that can prevent illnesses which can kill you.
They’re so sure of their beliefs, they’re so certain about the links between these ingredients and these ailments, that you almost feel trepidation about asking how they know this information. When you ask healthcare professionals and scientists, they are always “beating around the bush,” making statements like “The evidence doesn’t support a link between (A) and (B),” or “while we don’t know exactly what causes (B), we believe it’s likely not due to (A).” The scientists and doctors seem so unsure of themselves and the topic, yet these anti-vaxxers have such confidence and surety, it can be difficult to determine who is right and who is telling the truth.
I once read a long time ago, that a man who is wise, understands that his knowledge is finite and is careful and cautious with his opinions, and that a fool is confident in everything. Socrates is attributed to have said that “the only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing,” and Darwin wrote in The Descent of Man that “ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
A more recent quote by David Dunning is “The trouble with ignorance is that it feels so much like expertise.” David Dunning, and his research partner Justin Kruger, wrote about cognitive bias and how cognitive bias effects an individual’s perception of their own abilities and knowledge. Their article, “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments,” describes how individuals who have little ability are likely to believe their abilities exceed their true capabilities, and they believe their capabilities exceed the abilities of those who have considerable ability. In the colloquial sense, those with little ability are often atop “Mount Stupid,” where their believed abilities are far greater than they actually are.
The scriptures tell us:
“Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Proverbs 26:12.
It’s important that one show humility and understand the limitations of their own knowledge and experience. Don’t be fooled by the overconfident, caution is the true badge of knowledge.
So let’s talk about the components of the two mRNA vaccines briefly. It’s important to see and understand that the components within these vaccines aren’t scary once you understand what they are and why they’re there.
The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine contains the following ingredients: messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), lipids (SM-102, polyethylene glycol [PEG] 2000 dimyristoyl glycerol [DMG], cholesterol, and 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine [DSPC]), tromethamine, tromethamine hydrochloride, acetic acid, sodium acetate, and sucrose.
mRNA is the genetic material which the cell uses to create the spike proteins the body will use to form their antibodies against. The mRNA is created in a synthetic process which is commonly used in research and doesn’t require cell lines (or “fetal cells” for that matter).
PEG is a common stabilizing agent in food and medications. They are what we call “polymers” or repeating chains of the same part. PEG can have a variety of polymer length, anywhere from very small repetitive chains (6-7 parts) to very long chain polymers (upwards of 10,000 parts). In the Moderna vaccine, we see PEG 2000 (2000 chain PEG) being combined with the lipids, as a buffer to the lipids. This is referred to as “PEGylated” lipids. While there have been rare documentation of possible allergies to PEG, it’s almost ubiquitous use within food and drugs makes this possibility extremely rare.
Tromethamine (and tromethamine hydrochloride) which are both used to buffer the vaccine and make the pH of the vaccine appropriate for injection.
Acetic acid (the acid found in vinegar) and sodium acetate are two compounds used as buffers to balance the pH. On an interesting note, sodium acetate is the chemical compound which is used to give salt and vinegar chips the flavor of vinegar.
And last, but not least, is sucrose, a simple sugar. The sugar is there to help protect the lipids.
How about the Pfizer vaccine?
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine contains 30 mcg of a nucleoside-modified messenger RNA (modRNA) encoding the viral spike (S) glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2.
Each dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine also includes the following ingredients: lipids (0.43 mg (4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate) (ALC-0315), 0.05 mg 2[(polyethylene glycol)-2000]- N,N-ditetradecylacetamide (ALC-0159), 0.09 mg 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, and 0.2 mg cholesterol), 0.01 mg potassium chloride, 0.01 mg monobasic potassium phosphate, 0.36 mg sodium chloride, 0.07 mg dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and 6 mg sucrose. The diluent (0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, USP) contributes an additional 2.16 mg sodium chloride per dose.
Just as with the Moderna, we see that the Pfizer vaccine has mRNA. This is the genetic coding for the spike protein that the cells will use to create the spikes. We also have lipids and PEG, which almost certainly are also combined together to create PEGylated lipids.
This is where we differ slightly. The Pfizer vaccine uses potassium chloride (table salt), sodium chloride (table salt), potassium phosphate, and sodium phosphate dihydrate instead of tromethamine, tromethamine hydrochloride, acetic acid, and sodium acetate. All four of these chemical are used as buffers, to create a pH level appropriate for injection. These four chemicals are abundant in the foods we eat and haven’t been associated with any health problems.
And last, but not least, we have sucrose, a simple sugar identical to the Moderna vaccine.
So while the two vaccines have long and complicated component names, almost all of the components are common in the foods we eat and the medications we take. None of them have been associated with any health issues and none of the components are in any way related to cell lines or “fetal tissue.”