Hydrolyzed porcine gelatin is an additive used in some vaccines for various purposes. Gelatin is derived from collagen, a protein found in the connective tissues of animals. In vaccines, hydrolyzed porcine gelatin may serve several functions:
- Stabilization: Gelatin can help stabilize vaccines by protecting the active ingredients from degradation during storage and transportation. It helps maintain the vaccine's potency over time.
- Protecting Vaccine Viruses: In some vaccines, particularly live attenuated vaccines, hydrolyzed porcine gelatin may be used to protect the vaccine viruses from damage caused by freezing or drying processes used in vaccine production.
- Formulation: Gelatin may be used as a component of the vaccine's formulation to help maintain its consistency and uniformity.
Gelatin is widely used in pharmaceutical and food products and has a long history of safe use. However, individuals with known allergies to gelatin or who have religious or ethical concerns about pork-derived ingredients should consult with healthcare providers and consider alternative vaccine options if available.
The presence of gelatin in a vaccine is typically listed in the vaccine's package insert, and healthcare professionals can provide guidance to individuals with concerns about vaccine ingredients. Additionally, vaccine manufacturers are required to disclose the presence of known allergens in vaccine formulations.