Moderna vaccine components (Spikevax Covid-19)

Main Moderna vaccine components are similar to Comirnaty vaccine components (Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19). One dose (0.5 mL) contains:

  • 100 micrograms of messenger RNA (mRNA) (embedded in SM-102 lipid nanoparticles).
    Single-stranded, 5’-capped messenger RNA (mRNA) produced using a cell-free in vitro transcriptionfrom the corresponding DNA templates, encoding the viral spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2.
  • Lipid SM-102 (heptadecan-9-yl 8-{(2-hydroxyethyl)[6-oxo-6-(undecyloxy)hexyl]amino}octanoate)
  • Cholesterol
  • 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DSPC)
  • 1,2-Dimyristoyl-rac-glycero-3-methoxypolyethylene glycol-2000 (PEG2000 DMG)
  • Trometamol
  • Trometamol hydrochloride
  • Acetic acid
  • Sodium acetate trihydrate
  • Sucrose
  • Water for injection

This is a multidose vial which contains 10 doses of 0.5 mL. White to off white dispersion (pH: 7.0 – 8.0).

Spikevax contains mRNA encapsulated in lipid nanoparticles. The mRNA encodes for the full-length SARS-CoV-2 spike protein modified with 2 proline substitutions within the heptad repeat 1 domain (S-2P) to stabilise the spike protein into a prefusion conformation. After intramuscular injection, cells at the injection site and the draining lymph nodes take up the lipid nanoparticle, effectively delivering the mRNA sequence into cells for translation into viral protein.

The delivered mRNA does not enter the cellular nucleus or interact with the genome, is non-replicating, and is expressed transiently mainly
by dendritic cells and subcapsular sinus macrophages. The expressed, membrane-bound spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 is then recognised by immune cells as a foreign antigen. This elicits both T-cell and B-cell responses to generate neutralising antibodies, which may contribute to protection against COVID-19.

Janssen and AstraZenica on the other hand do not contain mRNA.


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