Vaccines consist of a variety of components in addition to the part that is included to stimulate the immune system. Each vaccine is described in detail in the section vaccines and the diseases they prevent.
This section contains detailed information about various vaccine components (see also Vaccine Ingredients). For a table listing the components of each vaccine visit the Johns Hopkins Institute for Vaccine Safety's Web site.
Some vaccines contain chemicals called adjuvants to help stimulate the production of immunity against the vaccine ingredients, making the vaccine more effective. In the United States, aluminum salts have frequently been incorporated as adjuvants in vaccines.
Some vaccines are grown in cell cultures that originated with a human fetus. Also, the rubella virus used to make rubella vaccine was isolated from human fetal cells. What is the origin of these vaccines?
Toxic mercury exposure has a wide range of adverse health effects. Currently in the United States there is a public health effort to reduce human exposure to mercury from all sources.