Pfizer-BioNTech
(Comirnaty)

This is one of the COVID-19 vaccines. 

Formulations:

There are four different versions or formulations of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and one bivalent booster.​

 

None of the formulations contain preservatives

The maroon cap vaccine is a 0.2 mL dose, and all other formulations are a 0.3 mL dose.

Note: The bivalent vaccine is only available as a booster and contains the same inactive ingredients as the monovalent gray cap

Active ingredients:

All formulations contain the same active ingredient: 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.

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.

Purple Cap Inactive Ingredients:

Lipids: These create a protective coating around the mRNA so it does not break down prematurely and become ineffective

Salts: help maintain the stability and pH of the vaccine

Carbohydrates: normally used as stabilizers in vaccines

Gray Cap Inactive Ingredients:
Monovalent and Bivalent: The inactive ingredients are the same for the original grey cap formulation and the bivalent version.

Lipids: These create a protective coating around the mRNA so it does not break down prematurely and become ineffective

Acids: improve the stability of the vaccine

Carbohydrates: normally used as stabilizers in vaccines

 
 
 

Orange Cap Ingredients:

Lipids: These create a protective coating around the mRNA so it does not break down prematurely and become ineffective

Acids: improve the stability of the vaccine

Carbohydrates: normally used as stabilizers in vaccines

Maroon Cap Ingredients:

Lipids: These create a protective coating around the mRNA so it does not break down prematurely and become ineffective

Acids: improve the stability of the vaccine

Carbohydrates: normally used as stabilizers in vaccines

Salts: help maintain the stability and pH of the vaccine

 
 

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