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Pfizer-BioNTech
(Comirnaty)

This is one of the COVID-19 vaccines. 

Formulations:

There are three different versions or formulations of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.​

None of the formulations contain preservatives

All formulations are a 0.3 mL dose.

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.

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.

Standard Formulation (12+) Inactive Ingredients:

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

Acids: improve the stability of the vaccine

Carbohydrates: normally used as stabilizers in vaccines

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Blue Cap

Blue Cap Ingredients:

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

Acids: improve the stability of the vaccine

Carbohydrates: normally used as stabilizers in vaccines

Yellow 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

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Relevant terms

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.

  • Recombinant Protein: a protein that is made by putting genetic information into the genome of another species. That species makes the protein, which is isolated and purified. 

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

Sources

Last updated: Sep. 28, 2023

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