Does a video from Ohio’s health department correctly list the ingredients in the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine?

Sunday, May 2, 2021
By Lisa Freedland

A 30-second video, part of Ohio’s COVID-19 vaccination promotion effort, features an immunologist who heads a Columbus science museum explaining the vaccine contains “just a few simple ingredients”—water, sugar, salt, fats, and “building blocks for proteins.”

The list is most complete for Pfizer’s formulation. Both it and Moderna’s vaccine contain the same mRNA protein “building block,” plus lipids (fats) and sucrose (sugar). They both contain saline solution (water and salt), but use different types of salts. Moderna’s vaccine includes acids.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the third authorized for use in the U.S., includes most of the same ingredients, but instead of mRNA relies on the “harmless version of a different virus” to produce the antibodies that protect against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

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