Flu Vaccine Ingredients – What Is Injected Into the Body?

Flu vaccine ingredients

The flu epidemic seems to have risen recently, especially in states such as California where the death toll due to severe influenza was confirmed at 318. Doctors have been persuading people to get the flu shot in order to prevent the sickness from spreading, but ironically, not many have asked what ingredients are actually put in the flu vaccine. What is being injected into your body?

The CDC (The Center for Disease Control and Prevention) encourages vaccinations during cold season, stating that everyone who is at least 6 months of age should receive a flu vaccine. Health officials also recommend that individuals at high risk of getting the flu should also receive the vaccine. This includes women who are pregnant, people older than 65 and those with chronic diseases.

So how does the flu vaccine work?

The flu shot causes antibodies to form in the body a couple of weeks after receiving the vaccine, which then provides a defense against the viruses obtained in the vaccine. There are numerous kinds of strains of influenza, which is divided into type A (such as H1N1 and H3N2), B or C viruses. Type A and B viruses are the strains known to cause seasonal epidemics and occasional deaths. This year’s seasonal vaccine fights off three flu viruses: two influenza A viruses, (H3N2 and H1N1) and one influenza B virus.

Interestingly enough, the flu vaccine is not always effective because it only guards against the viruses that are enclosed in the shot. There are hundreds of other strains that people are exposed to that are not in the vaccine that can still cause many people to become ill. So is receiving the flu vaccine really protecting the body from infection?

Flu vaccine Ingredients – What is injected into the body?

Although flu vaccines shield the body from the viruses enclosed in the shot, the vaccine itself can also cause side effects and/or complications. Common side effects include: pain at the injection site, runny nose, wheezing, headache, vomiting, muscle aches, fever, cough and sore throat. Allergic reactions to the vaccine could also cause hives, swelling, trouble breathing, accelerated heartbeat, dizziness and weakness.

So what is in the vaccine that causes these reactions? The two flu vaccines available this season are Flucelvax and Flublok.

Flu vaccine ingredientsFlucelvax contains: Madin Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) cell protein, MDCK cell DNA, polysorbate 80, cetyltrimethlyammonium bromide, beta-propiolactone, and a phosphate buffer. Here is a breakdown of the ingredients:

Madin Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) cell protein – inactive dog kidney cells

MDCK cell DNA – inactive dog DNA

Polysorbate 80 – an emulsifier derived from polyethoxylated sorbitan and oleic acid that is often used in foods

Cetyltrimethlyammonium bromide – a buffer solution for the extraction of DNA and an effective antiseptic agent against bacteria and fungi

Beta-propiolactone – a disinfectant used to sterilize vaccines, blood plasma, tissue grafts, surgical instruments and enzymes. One of the 13 OSHA-regulated “reasonably anticipated human carcinogens.” (A carcinogen is a substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue)

Phosphate buffer – phosphoric acid

Due to the fact that hundreds of Americans have been unable to receive the flu shot due to an egg allergy, manufacturers developed the Flucelvax vaccine which does not contain eggs. Instead, virus strains are matured in canine kidney cells and then deactivated and inserted into the vaccine.

There have been no studies that confirm using canine kidney cells and canine DNA to culture the flu virus strains incur health problems in humans. Although it is highly likely that many people would have an ethical objection to receiving the vaccine if they knew how the flu shot was developed.

In addition, a study from the National Toxicology Program with the Department of Health and Human Services showed that beta-propiolactone caused tumors in both rats and mice at several different tissue sites and with several different routes of exposure. Based on the evidence of carcinogenicity from studies in experimental animals, beta-propiolactone is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.

It is quite interesting that both health and government officials are persuading the entire United States population to inject disabled canine DNA, neutralized canine kidney cells, and potential cancer-causing agents into the body. The flu vaccine is not even guaranteed to protect against all strains of the flu virus; in fact, it only protects against three.

It is extremely important for anyone who is considering obtaining a flu shot to understand the flu vaccine ingredients and to know exactly what is being injected into the body. Is it really worth purposely getting sick from the flu shot when the chances are slim that the vaccine will shield the body from the type of virus each individual is exposed to? The decision is up for the taking.

By Amy Nelson



US Environmental Protection Agency



The Sacramento Bee


Science & Enterprise


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