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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

How do we know what ingredients are in the COVID-19 vaccines?

This article is available in both English and Español

The full ingredient list for any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website and in a variety of documents on the Food and Drug Administration’s website, including in a fact sheet for vaccine recipients that’s available in numerous languages. 

Both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines contain messenger RNA, or mRNA; a variety of fatty molecules, or lipids, to protect the mRNA; and a few other ingredients, including salts and sugar, to keep the vaccine stable and at the proper pH, or balance of acidity and alkalinity. The Novavax vaccine contains coronavirus spike proteins, an adjuvant made from soapbark tree bark to boost the immune response, and lipids, along with salts and stabilizing agents.

There are no preservatives, egg or latex in the vaccines.