What is tromethamine and why is it in the vaccine for 5-11-year-olds?
At least one "fact-check" has misled about the inclusion of the ingredient in the Pfizer shot for kids
Social media posts have circulated warning that the drug tromethamine is an ingredient in the recently approve Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) COVID shot for young children. The claims also say it is used to mitigate or treat heart attacks.
So what is tromethamine?
According to multiple online medical dictionaries, tromethamine is an “alkalizer” given intravenously to treat metabolic acidosis (too much acid in body fluids). The drug can be used in multiple situations, but one common use is to correct acid in the blood during or after cardiac arrest or cardiac bypass surgery.
It is also used to make buffer solutions like Pfizer has claimed it is using the substance in that manner.
Is it in the vaccine for 5-11-year-olds?
The answer is yes.
The briefing document given to the FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee in late October does mention tromethamine.
At least one "fact-check" has misled about the inclusion of the ingredient in the Pfizer shot for kids.
"A briefing document Pfizer submitted to the FDA does mention that tromethamine will be included in the shots. It was not present in the ingredients list in Pfizer's original formula submitted to the agency (page 11 of this document),” the AFP fact-check says.
AFP's fact-check claim that tromethamine is not in the ingredients list they link to is true, but it’s also wrong because it is very much out of date. The document they are linking to is the original Pfizer vaccine submission from Nov. 2020.
The current fact sheet for the ages 5-11 shot shows the drug is indeed an ingredient and is listed on page 2 of the Pfizer vaccine fact sheet distributed by the CDC.
Here is that section, with emphasis added:
"WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS IN THE VACCINE?
The vaccine includes the following ingredients: mRNA, lipids ((4-
hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate), 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide, 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, and cholesterol), tromethamine, tromethamine hydrochloride, sucrose, and sodium chloride."
The AFP fact check also downplays the concern over myocarditis and pericarditis by quoting a Pfizer official who calls those vaccine injuries "rare."
It's worth noting that Pfizer thought those injuries were important enough to be mentioned by name under the "risks" section of their fact sheet for the 5-11 shot.
In discussing the 5-11 shot, the risk factors of the disease have to be discussed.
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