Do mRNA Vaccines Contain Antibiotics?

Dr. Hank Bernstein talks about COVID-19 mRNA vaccines ingredients, including antibiotics.


Do mRNA Vaccines Contain Antibiotics?

Hank Bernstein, MD: I'm Hank Bernstein and I'm speaking on behalf of the Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The question, “Do mRNA vaccines contain antibiotics?” The answer, no. There are no antibiotics, no preservatives, no adjuvants in the COVID-19 vaccines. There are lipids that form a shell around the mRNA so that it can be delivered inside our bodies. Once the mRNA reaches the cells in our body, those lipids are easily broken down and taken away. Other compounds and salts are in the vaccine because they help add stability and maintain the pH that's necessary for the vaccine.

Remember that the mRNA vaccine contains a harmless piece of information that tells the human cell how to make the spike protein. And it's the spike protein that's on the outside of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that results in the disease COVID-19. But once that mRNA instructions are inside, the human cell uses it to make the protein piece. Once the protein piece is made, the cell breaks down those instructions and gets rid of them quickly and harmlessly. The cell then in turn displays the protein piece and our immune system takes over, recognizing that protein does not belong there. Our immune system begins to make antibodies and generating an immune response so that our bodies will remember whenever we're exposed or infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Related Centers and Programs: Vaccine Education Center

Last Reviewed on Mar 16, 2021