People are awaiting thorough explanations of what's inside their COVID-19 Vaccines. Moderna and Pfizer BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccines have been made recently available for public view. According to Prevention, Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine is officially making its way throughout US frontliners such as health workers and residents in long-term health care workers. For some, it has sparked a renewed sense of hope and resilience.

Spain's Seniors Receive First Batch Of Covid-19 Vaccines
(Photo : Photo by Alvaro Calvo/Government of Aragon via Getty Images)
BARBASTRO, SPAIN - DECEMBER 27: In this handout photo, A bottle of the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in the Somontano nursing home on December 27, 2020 in Barbastro, Spain. Spain will begin to administer the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech on December 27. With 1.84 million cases recorded since the start of the pandemic, Spain has reported almost 50,000 covid-19 deaths.

Pfizer and Moderna Ingredients List Made Available for Public View

As of the time being, Pfizer has been granted access through Emergency Use Authorization, also known as EUA from the Food and Drug Administration or FDA. On the other hand, Moderna is still awaiting its grant by the EUA. On the bright side, both of them seem to be very transparent to the public about their ingredient contents. 

See moreCOVID-19 Vaccination Proof Can be Traced Through an App as Los Angeles County Teams Up with Healthvana

How do COVID-19 Vaccines work?

But first, we have to understand how these vaccines work. Both of the vaccines use the technology via MRNA or RNA. Although this a foreign term to many, RNA technology has actually already been studied for more than 10 years, says Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so there's no need for the public to be worried. It was initially meant to put an end to other diseases, but has never made its way past the early stages of clinical trials. It was not until COVID-19 has pushed experts to revisit RNA and refine it for the COVID-19 vaccine. 

The RNA works by telling your cells to produce a protein that mimics that of coronavirus' spike protein. As a result, your body thinks that it has an infection to attack. 

Your immune system works by providing a defense mechanism against these proteins as they are seen as foreign. The end goal is to make your body produce antibodies for the SARs-CoV-2. It's unsure yet how long this effect lasts for your body. However, experts say that your body will get rid of them in the long run naturally. 

Here's a comparative table of Pfizer-BioNTech's list and Moderna's list according to the official list released by manufacturers. 

Pfrizer COVID-19 Vaccine

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine

  • mRNA

  • 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, and cholesterol)

  • Potassium chloride

  • Monobasic potassium phosphate

  • Sodium chloride

  • Dibasic sodium phosphate dehydrate

  • Sucrose

  • mRNA

  • Lipids (SM-102, 1,2-dimyristoyl-rac-glycero3-methoxypolyethylene glycol-2000 [PEG2000-DMG], cholesterol, and 1,2-distearoyl-snglycero-3-phosphocholine [DSPC]),

  • Tromethamine,

  • Tromethamine hydrochloride

  • Acetic acid

  • Sodium acetate

  • Sucrose

How do the Ingredients Work?

According to Jamie Alan, Pharm.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor from Michigan State University, all the ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccines are necessary to ensure the effectiveness of the vaccine's effects in your body. All of them work together to create a stable vaccine and keep it effective even after release from the manufacturer. 

Slight Difference in Ingredient Formulas, Same Goal

According to Dr. Alan, the difference only mean that there can be a different storage requirement for each vaccine. For the Pfizer Vaccine, a frigid -70 degrees Celcius requirement is demanded to keep the vaccine effective. On the other hand, Moderna can work with a -20 degrees celsius. 

Bottomline is, even with ingredient differences, both Pfizer and Moderna deliver the same goal, which is in putting an end to the COVID- 19 pandemic. 

See related Article:What Happens Next After the COVID-19 Vaccine? What You Can and Can't Do

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Written by Nikki Delgado

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