Fact Check-Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine does not contain luciferin or luciferase

The novel coronavirus vaccine manufactured by Moderna does not contain luciferin, an organic compound involved in bioluminescence, or the enzyme luciferase, contrary to claims on social media. While luciferase was involved in some COVID-19 research in the summer of 2020, none of the available vaccines contain either ingredient.

Suggesting a Satanic link, a post on Facebook reads, “MODERNA VACCINE CONTAINS "LUCIFERIN" IN A 66.6 SOLUTION. YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP (here). Other posts making this claim can be found here , here and here .

Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, authorized for emergency use in both the United States and the United Kingdom, uses new messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, which contains instructions for human cells to make proteins that mimic part of the novel coronavirus. The instructions spur the immune system into action, turning the body into a virus-zapping vaccine factory. No actual virus is contained in the vaccine (here).

A fact sheet on the FDA’s website here discloses the ingredients in the vaccine. It includes mRNA, lipids, cholesterol, 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, tromethamine, tromethamine hydrochloride, acetic acid, sodium acetate, and sucrose.

It does not list luciferin, an organic compound that produces light through oxidation (here), in its ingredients, or mention anything about a “a 66.6 solution,” as the posts claim.

Moreover, none of the other available vaccines, manufactured by Pfizer, Janssen and AstraZeneca, contain luciferin, according to ingredients lists seen here , here and here .

As explained here by National Geographic, “the chemical reaction that results in bioluminescence requires two unique chemicals: luciferin and either luciferase or photoprotein. Luciferin is the compound that actually produces light. In a chemical reaction, luciferin is called the substrate. The bioluminescent color (yellow in fireflies, greenish in lanternfish) is a result of the arrangement of luciferin molecules.”

Some social media posts claim that the COVID-19 vaccine contains or is called Luciferase, deeming the shot the “mark of the beast” ( here , here , here ).

As is the case with luciferin, none of the available COVID-19 vaccines, including Moderna’s, contain luciferase, the enzyme that chemically reacts with oxidized luciferin to produce light (here).

While the enzyme is not a vaccine ingredient, researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston last July isolated luciferase from fireflies to develop more accurate COVID-19 tests and potential treatments (here).

Scientists at the University of South Florida College of Public Health conducted similar research (here).

Moderna did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment.

Lucifer, according to many Christians, was a beautiful angel who defied God and fell from Heaven as a result. This theory is based on the book of Isaiah, which says, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations” (here).

“Lucifer,” “luciferin” and “luciferase” all come from the Latin lux, meaning light, and ferre, to carry (here). Despite their shared etymology, the compound and enzyme are not related to the fallen angel.

Reuters Fact Check previously debunked social media posts falsely claiming COVID-19 vaccines contain human aborted fetus cells, triton X-100, thimerosal, and aluminum here .


False. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine does not contain luciferin or luciferase.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .