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Moderna (Spikevax)

This is one of the COVID-19 vaccines. 

Ingredients:

Active ingredients:

mRNA

Messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) is a form of genetic material that acts as a template to make proteins (in this case the spike protein) through a process called translation. The protein made from the mRNA teaches your body how to respond if it is exposed to the virus in the future because the immune system responds to this protein by creating antibodies. mRNA is harmless on its own and cannot change your DNA.

This vaccine contains the mRNA that encodes the spike protein, which is the protein in SARS-CoV-2 that allows the virus to recognize and attach to host cells.

Inactive ingredients:
Amounts are based on a 0.5 mL dose

Lipids: These create a protective coating around the mRNA so it does not break down prematurely and become ineffective
Note: The total lipid content in this vaccine is 1.93mg. Here, we do not have the amount of each individual lipid, so the comparisons listed in this section are relative to 1.93mg, which is the maximum amount each could be.

Salts: help maintain the stability and pH of the vaccine

Acids: improve the stability of the vaccine

Carbohydrates: normally used as stabilizers in vaccines

Relevant Terms

  • Antibody: a protein made by the immune system in response to a foreign particle (antigen). These proteins circulate in the blood and help defend the body against the substance.

  • Antigen: This is any substance that triggers the immune system to create antibodies. For example, allergens such as pollen are antigens.

  • Carbohydrates: another word for sugar

  • Lipid: substances that do not mix with water such as fats, hormones, waxes, and oils

  • mRNA: Messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) is a form of genetic material that acts as a template to make proteins.

  • Nanoparticle: these particles are called nanoparticles due to their size. The dimensions of nanoparticles are in the nanometer range. 1 meter is one billion nanometers.

  • pH: a measure of how acidic or basic a solution is. The scale ranges from 0 (very acidic) to 14 (very basic). A pH of 7 is neutral.

  • Spike protein: the protein in SARS-CoV-2 that allows the virus to recognize and attach to host cells.

 

Sources