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Story at-a-glance

  • Moderna and Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines use lipid nanoparticles that contain polyethylene glycol (PEG) to deliver mRNA to your cells
  • This experimental mRNA technology and its lipid nanoparticle-based delivery system have never been approved for use in a vaccine or drug
  • Significant concerns have been raised over the technology, including the lipid nanoparticles, and Moderna actually abandoned it in 2017 after studies revealed a high rate of adverse effects
  • Experts have questioned whether LNPs are safe, as research shows they readily enter the brain and may trigger immune reactions
  • The first dose of COVID-19 vaccine may prime the body to have an immune reaction to LNPs, such that when the second dose is received, a stronger likelihood for adverse events exists
  • The PEG found in both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines could also be causing allergic reactions and anaphylaxis
  • Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are made with messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, which works by turning your body’s cells into veritable drug factories.
  • The mRNA vaccines teach your cells to produce a protein, or piece of protein, that triggers an immune response, including the production of antibodies.1However, because natural mRNA is easily broken down, this means the experimental gene therapy needs a special delivery system to make it to the body’s cells.Moderna and Pfizer are using lipid nanoparticles that contain polyethylene glycol (PEG)2 for this purpose. The mRNA is wrapped in lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) that carry it to your cells, and the LNPs are “PEGylated” — that is, chemically attached to PEG molecules to increase stability.3

    This experimental mRNA gene therapy and its lipid nanoparticle-based delivery system have never been approved for use in a vaccine or drug.4 This includes Pfizer’s and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines, which were only “authorized” for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration — not “approved.”5

    Significant concerns have been raised over the technology, including the lipid nanoparticles, and Moderna actually abandoned it in 2017 after studies revealed a high rate of adverse effects