Dr. Yang Waikiki Hawaii

March 17, 2021

Dr. Sung Yang:  insights on how does COVID-19 Vaccine works:


All three FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and most recently Johnson and Johnson are breakthrough genetically engineered vaccines. The vaccines contain mRNA, the genetic blueprint for the various spike proteins of the COVID-19 virus that are needed for the virus to enter the cells of our body for infection and replication. For the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines the genetic blueprint is carried inside a special vehicle which is a lipid particle that is extremely sensitive to temperature and thereby requires storage at very low temperatures. However, for the J and J vaccine the genetic blueprint is carried by a more stable vehicle which is an inactive adenovirus and can be stored in a standard refrigerator.

In all the three vaccines by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson the mRNA is carried into the cells and then codes for the numerous spike proteins of COVID-19 virus, which then follow a dual pathway of triggering a powerful immune response.

When the genetic blueprint or mRNA enters the muscle cells of the arm upon vaccine injection the mRNA is transformed into a spike protein using the genetic factory inside the cell.

Dr. Sung Yang explains Covid-19 Vaccine:

First, the spike proteins can be presented by the infected muscle cells to cytotoxic or “killer” T cells (white cells that are formed in lymph organs) because these proteins are considered foreign or not part of the original cells. Cytotoxic T cells can then directly eliminate the infected muscles that present these spike proteins on their cell surface.

Secondly, the spike proteins can be secreted or freely released into the bloodstream where they encounter B cells (white cells that are formed in the bone marrow). Then, the B cells have a special receptor that bind and engulf the spike proteins and present the spike protein on their cell surface to the helper T cells, considered the “commander of the immune response”. The T cells send special chemical signals called cytokines to activate the B cells to proliferate and differentiate into many plasma cells that can then produce many more antibodies against each spike protein. In addition, B cells are multiplied into numerous memory B cells so that the next time they encounter the spike proteins B cell conversion to plasma cells and antibody production are amplified. At the same time the helper T cells send other cytokines to stimulate the cytotoxic T cells to kill more infected muscle cells as well as multiply them to memory cytotoxic T cells for future amplification of killing of infected cells.

Dr. Sung Yang Provides a summary regarding COVID-19:

In summary, the mRNA vaccines of Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson allow a very robust immune response or high rate of effective prevention of COVID-19 because of the unique amplification of the dual pathway of cytotoxic T cell and B cell response that is coordinated by the helper T cells. Other non-mRNA vaccines of the past amplifies only the pathway of the B cell response and not the pathway of the cytotoxic T cells. The B cell response or the production and then attachment of antibodies to a wide range of spike proteins of the surface of COVID-19 virus eliminates the virus even before it has the chance to find and infect a cell in the human body. If the virus somehow survives the B cell response and is still able to infect a cell then the cytotoxic T cells will immediately recognize the infected cell and eliminate it before the virus can replicate itself inside the cell.