Are egg products used in COVID-19 vaccines?


Around the world, a collective effort is still underway to vaccinate as many people as possible against COVID-19 with the implementation of boosters and the reinforcement of vaccinations among children which has widely taken place in Malaysia recently. COVID-19 vaccination is a controversial topic and has raised debate among many people including healthcare professionals. This topic must be viewed in a kaleidoscope of angles before the issue is brought up into discussions. One of the main concerns is what are the ingredients used in the production of vaccines? Each pharmaceutical companies have a slightly different manufacturing procedure to produce Jenis vaksin Covid19.

  • What are the components inside the COVID-19 vaccines?

According to WHO, here is the list of the ingredients of the COVID-19 vaccine. Note that the components are generic and apply to all vaccines. Vaccines contain microscopic fragments of the pathogen or the blueprints for manufacturing. Additionally, they contain other components that help to keep the vaccine safe and effective. Most of the chemical components are found in the production of billions of doses of vaccines that have been used for decades.


This is the active component of the vaccine in a weakened or inactive form. It is designed to mimic the pathogens to teach the cells to create the immune response and be ready for attack if there is a virus that invades the body.


Once the vial is opened, preservatives protect the vaccine from being contaminated if it will be used to vaccinate more than one individual. Certain vaccinations do not contain preservatives since they are maintained in single-dose vials and discarded upon administration of the single dosage. The preservative most frequently used is 2-phenoxyethanol. It has been used in a variety of vaccines for many years and is considered safe for use in vaccines due to its low toxicity in humans. Certain vaccines such as Pfizer BioNTech Comirnaty do not contain any preservatives in their ingredients.


Stabilizers are a component added to the vaccination that aids in the stability of the vaccine molecules and prevent them from sticking to the vaccine vial and thus helps to ease the logistic process during manufacturing, freezing, shipping, and storage. Examples of stabilizers such as sugars lactose, sucrose, or amino acids like glycine, gelatin, and proteins recombinant human albumin, derived from yeast. These modifications enable the vaccines to be shipped more easily and stored at refrigerator temperatures for an extended period of time. This will increase the access to immunizations for those in need and reduce waste.


While stabilizers prevent vaccine components from mixing and reacting. In contrast, the surfactants keep all ingredients together to prevent separation, resulting in the formation of sedimentation or clumps.


Residuals are trace amounts of various compounds employed in the development of vaccines that are not active ingredients in the final product. The substances used such as egg proteins, yeast, or antibiotics. Residual traces of these compounds that may be present in a vaccination must be quantified in parts per million or parts per billion.


Obviously, A diluent is a liquid that is used to dilute a vaccination right prior to use to get a correct concentration. Sterile water is the most frequently used diluent.


Some vaccines contain a small amount of adjuvants such as aluminum phosphate, aluminum hydroxide, or potassium aluminum sulfate. The function of the adjuvant is to enhance the immune response to the vaccine by keeping the vaccine at the adjacent side a little longer. A small trace of aluminum is edible to humans and does not cause long-term side effects.

Egg-derived anti-COVID19 Immunoglobulin Y (Ig Y)

Most of COVID-19 vaccines do not contain latex preservatives, eggs or gelatin. However, A recent study that has been published in the Journal of Immunology Research in 2020 has demonstrated the usage of antibodies from eggs of hens immunoglobulin Y,  (IgY) which has the potential to be used as neutralizing antibody against respiratory infections including COVID19. According to the research, the Scientist have used antibody against the spike (S) protein of COVID19 in chickens and extracted IgY (called IgY-S) from egg yolk. The result shows IgY-S exhibited high immunoreactivity against COVID19 virus. Therefore, our IgY-S has the potential to be safely used as a nasal spray to prevent or treat COVID19 infections. Although the research is still new and needs more breakthroughs and further clinical and in vivo trials, however, the finding has open a door to the promising vaccines development in the future.

Scientist has convinced it is possible that IgY-S binding to epitope could prevent virus infections. In animal studies, egg yolk IgY isolated from immunized chickens has been tested for treating viral respiratory infections by influenza.  Fortunately, IgY is well tolerated in human since eggs are a dietary staple foods for human. IgY also does not contain the allergenic egg albumin which  it can also be safely used by patients with egg allergy.

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