An ingredient or substance (e.g. aluminium salt) that is added to some vaccines to boost the body’s immune response to that vaccine.
Adjuvants create stronger and longer-lasting immunity against infections. This means fewer doses of a vaccine are needed to prevent infection and in turn allows for greater quantities of vaccines to be produced. This is especially important to ensure low-income countries get access to life-saving vaccines.
The technology has been around for more than 70 years, and the chemicals used vary from complex organic compounds to aluminum. Newer adjuvants have been developed to target specific components of the body’s immune response so that protection is stronger and lasts longer.
Adjuvants have been added to some COVID-19 candidate vaccines which are currently in clinical trials. Some companies like Novavax are using their own adjuvant in their vaccine candidate trial, while others such as GlaxoSmithKline have committed to producing 1-billion doses of their adjuvant for vaccines being developed by other manufacturers.
Immune System Vaccines