Do COVID-19 vaccines contain animal products?

CLAIM: Vegans cannot take COVID-19 vaccines because they contain animal products. 

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. No COVID-19 vaccine currently in use contains animal products. 

Context

On The Nolan Show (30/11/2021 from 10.21) a caller claimed that “…[t]here are some people who cannot get the vaccine. Some people are allergic to the ingredients, others have had adverse reactions in the past. Vegans can not take it because it contains animal products, and there are people who because of their faith cannot take it.”

This fact check considers the ingredients of COVID-19 vaccines and whether or not they contain animal products. FactCheckNI has previously fact checked other claims about the composition and ingredients of COVID-19 vaccines. 

Are there animal products in the vaccine?

The NHS website clearly states that “the COVID-19 vaccines do not contain egg or animal products.”.

It also links to information on the ingredients in the Moderna, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines being rolled out in the UK. 

Other considerations for vegans

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Foundation acknowledges that companies that make vaccines and other medicines are required by law to carry out certain tests – some of which may involve using animals – before they can market their products. PETA state: “as long as tests on animals are a legal requirement, refusing to take a medicine on ethical grounds will not help animals who have already been used in tests or spare any the same fate in the future”.