But what else is there in there?
Fat, salt, sugar and water. Because in order to introduce the vaccine into your body as a liquid, it contains 10 other substances:
- ((4-hydroxybutyl) azaandiyl) bis (hexaan-6,1-diyl) bis (2-hexyldecanoaate) (ALC-0315)
- 2-[(polyethyleenglycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide (ALC-0159)
- 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-fosfocholine (DSPC)
- Potassium Chloride
- Potassium dihydrate
- Sodium Chloride
- Disodium phosphate dihydrate
The first three substances (ALC-0315, ALC-0159 and DSPC) will not be familiar to most people. Cholesterol probably does. But these are all fats: the piece of mRNA in the vaccine is packaged in a fat globule. That fat globule ensures that the mRNA arrives properly in your body cells.
Potassium chloride, potassium dihydrogen phosphate, sodium chloride and disodium phosphate dihydrate are salts. Sucrose is sugar in water is of course known. Salt and sugar are contained in vaccines so that the vaccine can be administered better and has a longer shelf life.
Can you also get side effects from the vaccine?
Yes, that’s possible. Obviously, there is an immune response and you can feel mild complaints. The vaccine has been tested on tens of thousands of people over the age of 16 before it hit the market. Millions of people have already received the vaccine. The most common complaints are fatigue (more than 60%), headache (more than half), muscle pain and chills (more than 30%). Furthermore, the place where they received the injection is somewhat painful for many people. These complaints are mild and disappear after a few days.
What about allergies and long-term side effects?
People can always have an allergic reaction to an injection, but this is rare. Of the tens of thousands of subjects, a few had an allergic reaction that was treatable. Furthermore, the ingredients in this vaccine do not give reason to believe that there are long-term side effects, but to be sure the manufacturer of the vaccine is obliged to continue researching the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine for two years.
Is the vaccine also safe for children and pregnant women?
The vaccine has not yet been tested on children and pregnant women in the now available and completed studies, so they are not yet getting the vaccine. In the meantime, studies are ongoing with children. No effects on fertility, pregnancy or embryo development were seen in experiments in pregnant rats. Whether the vaccine can also be transmitted through the placenta or breast milk has not yet been investigated.
How well does the vaccine work?
According to Pfizer / BioNtech, the vaccine prevents getting COVID-19 in 95% of the cases. In people over 75 years old, it appears to be 100% effective in the studies.
Do we already know how long it works?
That is still being investigated. It is currently known that the protection provided by the vaccine is just as great after three months as it was in the beginning. To be as effective as possible, this vaccine consists of two injections. The second follows three weeks after the first. The vaccine should have maximum effect seven days after the second injection.
Where is this vaccine actually made?
The manufacturers that make the vaccine’s active ingredients are located in Germany (BioNTech Manufacturing GmbH and Biopharma SE) and in America (Wyeth BioPharma Division of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals). The manufacturers responsible for the eventual release of the vaccines are located in Germany (BioNTech Manufacturing) and Belgium (Pfizer Manufacturing Belgium). Vaccine package inserts must always contain the name and address of the manufacturer who released that supply of vaccines.
When is it my turn?
Vaccinations will take place from this Wednesday, but some occupational and population groups will take precedence. The government expects that all Dutch people who wish to do so can be vaccinated before October. But the delivery time of vaccines will have a big impact on that. For example, the EMA can at any time come up with an approval for the Moderna vaccine (also an RNA vaccine, such as the Pfizer / BioNtech vaccine), but that is still not yet happening.