This page contains information about the COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Janssen: how they work, what is in the vaccines and how effective they are.  


Which COVID-19 vaccines are being used in the Netherlands

Four vaccines against COVID-19 are currently being used in the Netherlands: 

How the COVID-19 vaccines work

  • The COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer/BioNTech and by Moderna are RNA vaccines. These RNA vaccines contain a protective envelope of lipids (fat) with an instruction (code) that tells your cells to make spike proteins. These are the spiky protrusions on the exterior of the coronavirus. The immune system recognises the spike proteins as foreign substances and starts making antibodies. 
  • The  vaccines made by AstraZeneca and by Janssen are vector vaccines. The vector vaccines contain an inactivated cold virus (that cannot replicate) with an instruction (code) that tells your cells to make spike proteins. The immune system reacts by producing antibodies, just as it does in response to the RNA vaccines.

Ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccines

Pfizer/BioNTech(Comirnaty)  Official Dutch package leaflet Vaccine factsheet
Moderna Official Dutch package leaflet Vaccine factsheet
AstraZeneca Official Dutch package leaflet Vaccine factsheet
Janssen Official Dutch package leaflet Vaccine factsheet

There is no gelatin, chicken protein or antibiotics in RNA vaccines made by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna or in the vector vaccines made by AstraZeneca and Janssen.

Videos on the COVID-19 vaccines

Video on facts and fiction about COVID-19 vaccination

Watch the video on facts and fiction the COVID-19 vaccine