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VERIFY: No, there is no metal in the COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccines used to have Mercury in them, but it's not a common practice anymore - and it's not in the COVID-19 vaccines.

ATLANTA — Appointments to get the COVID-19 vaccines fill up quickly as people get in line for protection against the virus. 

It's a main topic of conversation, and many rumors are floating around about what the vaccine is and isn't. 

James, an 11Alive viewer, said he's concerned about what's in the vaccine. He heard there are certain metals in it that can harm you in the long run," that they have some type of metallic input inside the vaccine itself!" James said. 

Our VERIFY team combed through the list of ingredients in both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine and spoke to an expert about what they are. 


Is there metal in the COVID-19 vaccines? 


No, there are no metals in the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Mercury, once used in vaccines, is no longer a common ingredient used.  


Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Dr. Sujatha Reddy, 11Alive medical correspondent 


The FDA and CDC released fact sheets for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines detailing what exactly is in them. 

According to the FDA, The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine includes the following ingredients: 

mRNA, lipids ((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate), 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide, 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3- phosphocholine, and cholesterol), potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and sucrose.

Each dose of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine contains the following ingredients: 

a total lipid content of 1.93 mg (SM-102, polyethylene glycol [PEG] 2000 dimyristoyl glycerol [DMG], cholesterol, and 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine [DSPC]), 0.31 mg tromethamine, 1.18 mg tromethamine hydrochloride, 0.043 mg acetic acid, 0.12 mg sodium acetate, and 43.5 mg sucrose.

Looking at those ingredients, you have to be an infectious disease expert or doctor to understand all that medical jargon. So, we went to 11Alive medical correspondent Dr. Sujatha Reddy to see if any of that is a concern of metal buildup inside someone's body.  

“I’ve received both doses of the vaccine and I have zero concerns about metals building up in my body over time," Dr. Reddy said.

RELATED: VERIFY: Two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are needed for protection against COVID-19

Dr. Reddy said she understands why James would be concerned about metal in vaccines, because mercury was used as a preservative in the past. 

“Several years ago, there was talk about a mercury preservative called thimerosal that were in vaccines that people were worried about," she explained. 

"That has been taken out of virtually all vaccines and definitely not in the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine," she added. "Those vaccines have no preservatives which is why it’s so important to keep them at the sub-zero temperatures everybody has heard about."

So, we can VERIFY that NO, there are not metals in the vaccines. 

When James was asked if he will give the vaccine a chance, he said, "I'm more inclined to take it."

11Alive's Verify team is here to fact-check claims being shared in the community and online. Fill out the form below with something you'd like us to Verify.

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