Fact Check: Vaccine Ingredients Are NOT Kept From Doctors, While Chefs Know All Cupcake Contents As Allergy Precaution

Fact Check

  • by: Dean Miller
Fact Check: Vaccine Ingredients Are NOT Kept From Doctors, While Chefs Know All Cupcake Contents As Allergy Precaution Easily Found

Is it true that vaccine ingredients are kept from doctors, while chefs must know cupcake contents in order to protect diners from allergic reactions? No, that's not true: Doctors, pharmacists and anyone with access to the internet can look up all ingredients of legal vaccines, which are also included in the packages in which vaccine vials are shipped and stored, for the doctor, nurse, pharmacist or other health provider's reference at the time they administer vaccines.

The claim appeared in a meme posted to Facebook (archived here) November 23, 2021 under the title "SO YOU'RE TELLING ME DUE TO ALLERGIES A CHEF MUST KNOW ALL INGREDIENTS OF A CUPCAKE,". It opened:

BUT A DOCTOR DOESN'T NEED TO KNOW THE INGREDIENTS OF THE VACCINES?! INTERESTING ...

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Cupcake Analogy.JPGFacebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Fri Nov 26 22:02:38 2021 UTC)

The University of Cincinnati organized a web page listing and explaining the ingredients of all three COVID-19 vaccines that are authorized for use.

The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) published the ingredient list for the Moderna vaccine upon authorization of its use to fight COVID-19. The CDC has approved Pfizer's vaccine and published this ingredients list. The CDC also granted authorization to a Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine and listed ingredients here.

Manufacturers also share lists of ingredients online. For instance, the ingredients of Pfizer's "Comirnaty" vaccine are listed on this Pfizer and BioNTech web page:

The vaccine in the purple cap includes the following ingredients: mRNA, 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, and sucrose.

​​​​​​​The vaccine in the gray cap includes the following ingredients: mRNA, 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), tromethamine, tromethamine hydrochloride, and sucrose.

The vaccine in the orange cap includes the following ingredients: mRNA, 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), tromethamine, tromethamine hydrochloride, sucrose and sodium chloride.

Lead Stories has debunked prior claims that the U.S. government and vaccine makers are hiding vaccine ingredients.

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.


  Dean Miller

Lead Stories Managing Editor Dean Miller has edited daily and weekly newspapers, worked as a reporter for more than a decade and is co-author of two non-fiction books. After a Harvard Nieman Fellowship, he served as Director of Stony Brook University's Center for News Literacy for six years, then as Senior Vice President/Content at Connecticut Public Broadcasting. Most recently, he wrote the twice-weekly "Save the Free Press" column for The Seattle Times. 

Read more about or contact Dean Miller

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