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Polysorbate 80 in Vaccines

What is polysorbate 80 and why do they put it in vaccines?

Polysorbate 80 in Vaccines

Polysorbate 80, also known as tween 80, is an emulsifier.

According to the FDA, it “helps ingredients mix together and keep them from separating.”

Vaccines with polysorbate 80 include several types of flu vaccines (Fluad, Fluarix, FluceIvax, and Flulaval) and:

  • Boostrix (TdaP)
  • Gardasil
  • Heplisav-B (HepB)
  • Infanrix (DTaP
  • JE-Vax
  • Kinrix (DTaP-IPV)
  • Pediarix (DTaP-HepB-IPV)
  • Pentacel (DTaP-HepB-Hib)
  • Prevnar 13
  • Quadracel (DTaP-IPV)
  • RotaTeq
  • Shingrix
  • Trumenba (MenB)

Polysorbate is also an ingredient in the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.

“PEG and polysorbate are structurally related, and cross-reactive hypersensitivity between these compounds may occur.”

COVID-19 Vaccines

Although PEG and polysorbate are related, “known polysorbate allergy is no longer a contraindication to mRNA vaccination; however, known polysorbate allergy is a contraindication to Janssen COVID-19 vaccine and thus, a precaution to mRNA COVID-19 vaccination.”

Keep in mind that anaphylactic reactions in vaccines with polysorbate are even rarer than those with PEG

In addition to being a vaccine ingredient, polysorbate 80 is also used as a food additive, most notably as an emulsifier in ice cream.

Polysorbate 80 is not a sterilization agent.

It is safe and its presence in vaccines is certainly not a reason to be scared to get your kids vaccinated and protected.

More on Polysorbate 80

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