Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Ingredients

Vegetarian Dieting Blogs

By Julie Neild, MTSC, BS


Are the ingredients in the
Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine of animal origin?


In the United
Kingdom (UK), the vaccine is derived from non-animal products. However, in
the United States (US), the FDA has not provided information that can confirm
or deny whether the ingredients are of animal origin.  

The drug manufacturing supply
chain is like a complex web, so we can’t assume that what applies in the UK
also applies in the US. Pharmaceutical companies source ingredients from a
variety of locations/companies and also may have more than one manufacturing
site for a single drug. To further complicate matters, a product may stop
in more than one country before the final product is created. Supply
chains are considered proprietary information. Unless the FDA asks
Pfizer-BioNTech to provide a similar confirmation for US doses, the US consumer
cannot be certain the vaccine does not contain any ingredients of animal
origin. Of course,
this fact needs to be balanced with the role that the COVID-19 vaccine plays in
helping stop the pandemic.

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19

  • messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine that has both synthetic, or
    chemically produced, components and enzymatically produced components from
    naturally occurring substances such as proteins
  • Lipids
    ((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate), 2
    [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide,
    1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3- phosphocholine, and cholesterol)
  • Potassium chloride
  • Monobasic potassium phosphate
  • Sodium chloride
  • Dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate
  • Sucrose

UK confirmation that the
Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 does not contain any products of animal

Julie Neild is a clinical project
manager and medical writing professional with over 30 years’ experience in
clinical research and development. She and her husband have been vegans for
over 20 years; raising a compassionate vegan daughter has been one of their
greatest accomplishments.

Note: This posting does not address the issue of testing the product on

The contents of this posting, our
website, and our other publications, including Vegetarian Journal, are not
intended to provide personal medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained
from a qualified health professional. We often depend on product and ingredient
information from company statements. It is impossible to be 100% sure about a
statement, info can change, people have different views, and mistakes can be
made. Please use your best judgment about whether a product is suitable for
you. To be sure, do further research or confirmation on your own.

For information about food
ingredients, see

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