Aside from antigens, ingredient components of vaccines include adjuvants, which are added to enhance the immune system response; antibiotics, to thwart contamination during the manufacturing process; and preservatives and stabilizers. These additional components are a source of concern for many people. However, they aren’t harmful as some have suggested. Instead, each of these ingredients serves a specific purpose, such as to help provide protection against a specific disease and help keep the vaccine safe and long lasting.
Antigens and adjuvants are ingredients included in vaccines in effort to help your immune system respond and build immunity to specific diseases. For example, antigens help your immune system learn how to fight off infections faster and more effectively. Adjuvants, which are in some vaccines, are substances that help strengthen the immune systems response to a vaccine, which in turn increases one’s immunity against the disease.
Preservatives and stabilizers are ingredients that help ensure a vaccine continues to work and remains long lasting. Preservatives are used to protect the vaccine from outside bacteria and fungus. Stabilizers, such as sugar or gelatin, help the active vaccine ingredients to continue to work while the vaccine is made, stored, and moved, and they keep active ingredients from changing due to something like a temperature shift where the vaccine is being stored.
These sort of ingredients are not harmful to those who receive vaccines, as some skeptics might suggest. Instead, each ingredient plays its own role in making sure vaccines continue to help protect us from the threat of disease.