Advising individuals with religious or other dietary practices and beliefs on their suitability for the COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna

Ashley Marsden, Senior Medicines Optimisation Pharmacist, Pharmacy Practice Unit, Royal Liverpool HospitalPublished Last updated See all updates

Advice on whether people with religious or other dietary practices can receive the COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna.

Background

Both the manufacturing process for Moderna and the presence of excipients may affect individuals perceptions of its suitability.

Below are facts to help you answer questions from patients.

Animal- or human-derived product content

The manufacturer states that no materials of human or animal origin are used in the manufacture of COVID 19 Vaccine Moderna.

For further information about the COVID-19 vaccines please refer to UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA – formerly known as PHE) Immunisation Against Infectious Disease (the Green Book).

Chapter 1 of UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) Immunisation Against Infectious Disease (the Green Book) also contains a section on ‘How are vaccines made’ (page 4).

Egg content

The excipient content from the manufacturer’s information does not list any egg-derived excipients.

Excipients present

The excipients listed in the manufacturer’s information are as follows:

  • Lipid SM-102
  • Cholesterol
  • 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DSPC)
  • 1,2-Dimyristoyl-rac-glycero-3-methoxypolyethylene glycol-2000 (PEG2000-DMG)
  • Trometamol (Tris)
  • Trometamol hydrochloride (Tris HCl)
  • Acetic acid
  • Sodium acetate trihydrate
  • Sucrose
  • Water for injections

The vaccine contains polyethylene glycol/macrogol (PEG) as part of PEG2000-DMG.

The vaccine contains less than 1 mmol sodium (23 mg) per dose, i.e. essentially ‘sodium-free’.

Gluten

Suitability for vaccination is unlikely to be affected for individuals avoiding gluten.

The excipient content from the manufacturer’s information does not list gluten.

Jewish community

The Conference of European Rabbis has released a position statement recommending COVID-19 vaccines for the Jewish community.

Muslim community

Halal certification

There is no information on Halal certification for the Moderna vaccine.

However, the British Islamic Medical Association has released a position statement.

Thiomersal content

Suitability for vaccination is unlikely to be affected for individuals avoiding thiomersal.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) Immunisation Against Infectious Disease (the Green Book) highlights that thiomersal is a mercury based compound used as a preservative in the manufacture of some vaccines for many years and has been associated with some safety concerns.

Public Health England’s COVID-19 vaccination programme information for healthcare professionals (updated August 2021) highlights that the Moderna vaccine is preservative free.

 

Change history

  1. Information relating to Ramadan removed from page.
  2. Source specifying that vaccine is preservative free updated.
  1. Manufacturer information that the vaccine contains no materials of human or animal origin added
  1. Link to the British Islamic Medical Association statement added
  1. Published