COVID-19 Vaccine Information
According to the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services, both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use messenger RNA (mRNA) to encourage your cells to initiate an immune response to SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19. Janssen’s vaccine uses a vector (carrier) to provide our cells DNA instructions on how to create COVID-19 spike proteins that will initiate an immune response. The vector used in Janssen’s vaccine is a harmless adenovirus (like the common cold) that has been modified so it won’t be able to replicate or cause illness.
You rely on proteins every day to keep your body healthy. Our bodies use mRNA and DNA to tell our cells which proteins to make, which are antibodies in this case. Vaccines that use mRNA are typically quicker and easier to produce, which has helped accelerate the COVID-19 vaccine process. Janssen’s vector technology is established and has been used to create the Ebola vaccine.
The ingredients used in the mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna are simple. They contain mRNA, as well as lipids to ensure safe delivery of the mRNA that will initiate an immune response. Although FDA approved adjuvants (aluminum salts) and preservatives (ethlymercury) have a history of safe use in vaccines, they were not used by Pfizer and Moderna in this vaccine technology.
- Ask the Expert: Vaccine myths and scientific facts (Michigan State University)
- The facts you should know about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (UCLA Health)