News from CRIS: Vaccine Safety - Ingredients

January 19, 2021

What are vaccines?

A vaccine is a biological preparation designed to provide our body with active immunity to particular infectious pathogens when appropriately administered.

Vaccines stimulate immunological memory. Once we've received a vaccine, our body's immune system can recall a specific pathogen's identity, even years later, and effectively fight the pathogen.

You can learn more about vaccines in our previous blog post.

What do I need to know about vaccine ingredients?

It’s important to keep in mind that vaccines are developed not to harm people, rather to protect people from dangerous and sometimes deadly diseases.

There are some ingredients you’ll see on this list that are commonly found in our diets, cosmetics, and other products we use daily. Other ingredients will be unfamiliar and may sound scary or intimidating, this doesn’t mean they are harmful.

The potency is important when looking at vaccines, but it’s also important to keep in mind that the dose makes the poison and the vast majority of these vaccines will contain incredibly small amounts of an ingredient at a potency level designed to help, rather than harm us.

The goal is not to cause harm. The goal is to protect people.

What types of ingredients do we find in vaccines?

There are numerous types of vaccines. These vaccines typically contain ingredients in four core areas.

  • Antigens: Active ingredients designed to elicit an immune response and immunological memory to protect against specific pathogens

  • Adjuvants: ingredients that enhance the immune response

  • Stabilizers: additives that protect the integrity of the active ingredient(s) during manufacturing, storage, and transportation

  • Preservatives & Antibiotics: These ingredients are used in some vaccines to prevent bacterial and fungal growth   


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