Moderna (Spikevax)

This is one of the COVID-19 vaccines. 

Formulations

There are three versions of the Moderna (spikevax) vaccine:

The magenta border vaccine (6 months-5 years) is a 0.25 mL dose. All other formulations are 0.5mL doses.

None of these formulations contains any preservatives

Note: The bivalent vaccine is only available as a booster. The bivalent booster has exactly the same inactive ingredients as the purple and teal border formulation.

Active ingredients:

All formulations contain the same active ingredient: mRNA  encoding the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2.

The bivalent vaccine contains mRNA encoding the spike protein from two different versions (or variants) of SARS-CoV-2. This is an updated booster that contains mRNA from the omicron variant (BA.4/BA.5).

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.

Light Blue Border Vaccine: Inactive Ingredients:

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

Teal and Purple Border Vaccine:
Inactive Ingredients:

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 1.01 mg. Here, we do not have the amount of each individual lipid, so the comparisons listed in this section are relative to 1.01mg, 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

Magenta Border Vaccine: Inactive Ingredients:

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 0.5 mg. Here, we do not have the amount of each individual lipid, so the comparisons listed in this section are relative to 0.5 mg, 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

 
 
 

Gray Border (Bivalent Booster) Vaccine Inactive Ingredients:

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 1.01 mg. Here, we do not have the amount of each individual lipid, so the comparisons listed in this section are relative to 1.01mg, 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.

  • Bivalent: protects against two versions of a pathogen

  • Carbohydrates: another word for sugar

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

  • Monovalent: protects against one version of a pathogen

  • 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