A mass vaccination campaign that targeted frontline workers to receive the vaccine began on Dec. 8. Within 24 hours of launching the campaign, MHRA acknowledged two reports of anaphylaxis and one report of a possible allergic reaction.
Imperial College London’s Paul Turner, an expert in allergy and immunology who has been advising the MHRA on its revised guidance, told Reuters: “The ingredients like PEG which we think might be responsible for the reactions are not related to things which can cause food allergy. Likewise, people with a known allergy to just one medicine should not be at risk.”
It was also reported that PEG, which helps to stabilize the shot, is not in other types of vaccines.
The statements by Turner that “PEG is not in other types of vaccines” and that people with allergies to “just one medicine should not be at risk” are a failed attempt to provide false assurances and are patently untrue.
Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech and Arcturus Therapeutics COVID vaccines all utilize a never-before-approved messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, an experimental approach designed to turn the body’s cells into viral protein-making factories. This technology involves the use of lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) that encapsulate the mRNA to protect them from degradation and promote cellular uptake.
The LNP formulations in the three COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are “PEGylated,” meaning that the vaccine nanoparticles are coated with a synthetic, non-degradable and increasingly controversial PEG.
COVID mRNA vaccines are not the only vehicle for PEG involvement in COVID-19 vaccine production. Researchers at Germany’s Max Planck Institute report developing a process for COVID-19 vaccine production to purify virus particles at “high yield.” The process involves adding PEG to a virus-containing liquid and passing the liquid through membranes.