- Published: March 1, 2021
Hello! None of the current COVID-19 vaccines contain Thimerosal. They do, however, contain the emulsifiers polyethylene glycol and polysorbate.
According to the website contagionlive.com, the biggest concern has been over severe allergic reactions to these additives, rather than the active components.
The site points out that rare allergic reactions to vaccines are often to inactive ingredients, such as egg protein, gelatin, formaldehyde, thimerosal, or neomycin. None of these are contained in the COVID-19 vaccines. However, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines contain polyethylene glycol, and those produced by AstaZeneca and Johnson & Johnson contain polysorbate 80.
An article in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, cited in the website above, points out that only patients with a history of severe allergic reaction associated with a vaccine and/or severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine were excluded from trials, and that those administering the vaccine are required to ask about any previous severe allergic reactions. Recipients of the vaccine are required to wait at least 15 minutes to ensure that there is no severe allergic reaction, which typically happens within a minute or two after exposure to an allergen.
The article also states that most patients allergic to one vaccine can receive one of the others safely.