How COVID-19 Vaccines Work & How the Vaccines Differ so Widely from Each Other

April 1, 2021

There are many stories floating around Big Media and the Internet about how the COVID-19 vaccines supposedly work, yet, almost all of them have serious flaws, mistaken descriptions, and are missing key information.

The Ph.D. Virologist & Public Health scientists at Yucalandia completely support getting vaccinated, as very effective tool ar reducing COVID risks. 9 months of scientific reports, including a big 1.2 million patient New England Journal of Medicine study, show the vaccines provide substantial, but only-partial protection from COVID disease & hospitalization, with just 55% protection from COVID hoospitalization for some vaccinated patients … and just 75% protection from “serious COVID disease” for other vaccinated patients.
See more detailed facts at the end of the article.**

Here’s a quick primer on how the vaccines differ widely, and
Which vaccine might be best for you:

Start with the fact that m-RNA vaccines are relatively new, and they work differently from almost all of the internet’s & Big Media’s generic-unscientific descriptions, differences that predict that the m-RNA based vaccines (Pfizer & Moderna) may not work as well against new variants of the SARS CoV-2 Coronavirus … and may now work as long … as the Sputnik or Oxford vaccines, and not as long nor as well as the Sinovac, because 6 months after vaccination, 33% of elderly Pfizer patients are showing no Killer T-cells for COVID.

Many of these protection issues are currently undetermined – TBD, because Big Pharma & Big Govternments rushed the vaccines out to the public, without testing to see what protection we will have in 1 year, 2 yrs or 3 yrs. It is very possible that the Sputnik & Sinovac more traditional vaccines may give years of protection (like Chickenpox, Smallpox & Measles vaccines) … while the m-RNA based vaccines may only give a year or so of protection (as Pfizer’s head is already saying people will need to be revaccinated after a year) … much like the flu vaccines only partial protections.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is lock-and-key-antigen-antibody-2.jpg

1. First, All modern vaccines have a carrier ‘vehicle’ that carries a message – telling your cells what sequences of amino acids to link together. The corporate vaccine scientists choose either an m-RNA molecule vehicle or an adeno-virus cold molecule vehicle to deliver the vaccine’s “viral payload”.

1.a. In the m-RNA (Messenger-RNA) based vaccines (Pfizer & Moderna) the scientists select & cut out little snippets (very short sections) of the Coronavirus spike protein, cut from the surface proteins sticking out of the SARS-Co-V -2 Coronavirus. The scientists select between 11 – 17 little snippets of protein and attach that to the m-RNA vehicle to deliver it to your body in a vaccine jab.

Realize that the whole m-RNA vehicle thing is relatively new – with basically just 4 minor working vaccines using m-RNA that are alternatives to traditional vaccines .. Realize that Moderna spent at least 10 yrs of only m-RNA failures, with all of their attempted m-RNA based vaccines failing, before their current COVID vaccine.

Background Facts: The m-RNA vehicles are very wimpy (needing very cold storage) and they are very small – carrying only a TINY virus information payload => just a few little pieces of the viral spike protein, telling your body’s cells to make just the little snippets – tiny sections – of the Coronavirus COVID spike protein.


1.b. In the Oxford vaccine (Astrazenica), JnJ vaccine & the Sputnik vaccines, the scientists use one of several harmless, well-proven, long-used, safe adenovirus vehicle to carry the viral payload. As you may have read, the Oxford vaccine uses a harmless adenovirus that gives chimpanzees the sniffles … As a result, the Oxford & JnJ vaccines & Sputnik vaccine deliver a BIG viral information payload – far far larger than wimpy m-RNA’s tiny payload … This means your body gets a whole lot more instructions to make big sections (JnJ & Oxford), or even the whole Coronavirus spike protein (Sputnik V).

Notice that since the Sputnik, JnJ & Oxford adenovirus’s vehicle are normal but very wimpy cold viruses, your body has almost no adverse reactions to the vehicle – just destroying the adenovirus, after receiving the information. … IN CONTRAST … the m-RNA is a new vehicle, that unfortunately causes adverse reactions in about 2.5% of Pfizer patients – (a very high rate of adverse reactions compared to the old reliable adenovirus vehicles) … Fortunately, roughly 4 out of 5 of Pfizer’s adverse reactions are mild – like injection site soreness or a day or 2 of mild cold symptoms.

How do the m-RNA & adenoviruses work in your body? … and
Why are the adenovirus based vaccines likely tp give MORE PROTECTION to new mutations of COVID-19?

3.a Once you get your first jab of the m-RNA vehicle based vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna vaccine), the m-RNA delivers it’s tiny ‘viral payload’ of just 11 – 17 snippets of Coronavirus surface spike protein for your bodies cells to copy the snippets.

Your body receives the m-RNA (Messenger-RNA) instructions, and starts making the 11 (Moderna) or 17 (Pfizer) snippets – tiny sections of the Coronavirus surface spike protein.
Your body’s immune system then springs into action – attacking the snippets of Coronavirus spike proteins by LABELLING them – tagging them – with antibodies that exactly fit the snippets with special selective lock & key mechanism – where the antibody “keys” fit into the snippets’ little active-site “locks”.

When other parts of your immune system see the antibody “flags” – “tags” – it attacks & destroys the antibody-tagged Coronavirus spike protein snippets AND IT DESTROYS the m-RNA vehicle.
… Then note that your body continues to make extra antibody tags to float around your bloodstream for either a short time (a few months like the flu vaccine)… or a medium time of 1 – 3 yrs … (Coronavirus??) or for a lifetime, like the chickenpox vaccine & smallpox vaccine.

3.b In contrast: The adenovirus vehicle based vaccines like Oxford and Sputnik deliver BIG viral payloads of either BIG sections of Coronavirus spike protein (Oxford) … or the WHOLE spike protein (Sputnik) … (60,000 or more units long versus the tiny snippets of Moderna & Pfizer & JnJ vacs) …

Your body’s cells then identify the adenovirus vehicle & its Coronavirus spike protein viral payload – and your body makes LOTS OF DIFFERENT ANTIBODIES to the BIG sections of surface spike protein => meaning MORE kinds of antibodies created to recognize future Coronavirus-COVID intrusions … EVEN IF THE CORONAVIRUS MUTATES …

Note that the UK virus had 17 new mutations of the Coronavirus spike protein … SO… IF the future mutations of Coronavirus change in the key 11 (Moderna) or 17 (Pfizer) tiny snippet sections of spike protein, then the Moderna, JnJ & Pfizer vaccines may not work as well well (as proven by JnJ’s low 57% efficacy against the South Africa Variant) … because your bodies smaller variety of antibodies might not recognize the new mutated coronavirus very well.

Then note that because the Oxford vaccine delivers a big viral payload of big pieces of spike protein, AND Sputnik V vaccine delivers the whole spike protein … and the Sinovac delivers the entire Coronavirus .. your body’s bigger, more varied set of antibodies will likely continue to identify & and tag even future mutated forms of Coronavirus. => likely BETTER future protection from mutations.

Finally … notice that the Sinovac also uses a reliable adenovirus vehicle… but the Sinovac delivers THE WHOLE CORONAVIRUS … not just a snippets … not just even pieces of surface spike protein … but the whole shebang, giving your immune system many many more targets to identify than the tiny viral payloads of fizer & Moderna m-RNA vacs !!! … This means Sinovac may act like the classic VERY EFFECTIVE chicken pox and measles and small pox vaccines.

This means your body can make an even BROADER array of antibodies to the WHOLE Coronavirus delivered by Sinovac’s HUGE andenovirus payload.  

See the good NY Times article for lots of sweet pictures (shown above) with tons of details of how this works:

Background facts that support both the Conslusions below, and the scientific information above:

The largest vaccine study so far, of 1.2 million Israelis by Israels biggest healthcare provider were given the Pfizer vaccine found some troubling COVID problems for people vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine:

~ Overall 87% average protection against “hospitalization from COVID”, which sounds good,
… yet some groups of patients were down at just 55% protection from COVID hospitalization.

~ Overall 92% average protection against “severe COVID disease”, which sounds good, yet some groups of patients were down at just … 75% protection from severe COVID disease“.

Those facts do not include the depressingly low protections for some people with diabetes, high blood pressure etc.

~ Overall 91% average protection against “COVID infections” for all diabetic patients , which sounds good, yet some groups of diabetic patients were down at just 75% protection from Covid infections.

When some groups of ordinary people have only 55% protection against COVID hospitalization … and just 75% protection from severe COVID disease … then it is not “alarmist” to caution people to keep wearing medical grade masks & social distaning after getting vaccinated.

Also note that Pfizer’s latest study results, from patients vaccinated last summer, say that 33% of elderly vaccinated people are NOT making the important killer-T immune cells needed for long term protection against COVID-19.

1.2 million people and the New England Journal of Medicine aren’t likely wrong:

= = = =
Of the current top 6 vaccines, the Sinovac may ultimately produce THE LONGEST LASTING and MOST ROBUST anti-COVID protection – especially to future mutations of COVID-19 infections, by using the entire killed-dead-Coronavirus. … This is all yet to be proven – because we just don’t know what levels & how long protections will last … because the vaccines were rushed through production & testing,

Why question the Pfizer, JnJ & Moderna vaccines future performance?
JnJ vaccine’s relatively poor results against new COVID-19 variants does not bode well for the vaccines that use just snippets of Coronavirus spike protein:
In South Africa, where a highly contagious mutation of the virus is the primary variant, the (JNJ Vaccine) effectiveness was only 57%. “

The Sputnik V may likely ultimately produce THE SECOND LONGEST LASTING ROBUST anti-COVID protection,

with Oxford vaccine likely coming in at THIRD PLACE in long lasting protection …

Pfizer, JnJ & Moderna possibly come in at last place in producing long lasting protection from future COVID19 Coronavirus mutations because they each produce a smaller more-narrow variety of antibodies, and may provide different (lower) levels of antibodies.

What long term results do we have for the Pfizer, JnJ, & Moderna “snippet” vaccines?
As of a month ago, we have the first longer term antibody-test results from last summer’s Pfizer’s Phase III test results (44,000 patients) … Per Pfizer’s top scientists interviews, the antibody levels LOOK GOOD now 6 months after the second jab of Pfizer vac, and he hopes that the Pfizer vac’s protection coninues for up to a year.

More Conclusions:
NOTICE that this is all modestly important, because your personal body’s LEVEL OF ANTIBODY production   likely dictates your future protection.

For that reason, IT MAKES SENSE TO GET your serum antibody levels tested about 1 month after the second jab of vaccine …. and then get antibody levels tested again, 4 months after the second jab …  and tested again at 8 mo. or 12 mo after the second jab to get a measurement of how many COVID antibodies your body is still making.

And yes, Medical Doctors are generally unaware of these issues, and your personal MD may question why you are asking for antibody tests. Fortunately, here in Mexico, we get to make almost all of our own personal medical choices, so, we can just head into our local Clinical Testing Laboratory, and ask for a $400 peso ($20 US dollar) COVID antibody test (“anticuerpos de COVID”).

Finally … Note that the vaccines have been triggering 10X to 10,000X higher levels of COVID-19 antibodies than natural infections (specifics that the Big Pharma companies don’t report) => So, we likely get much better COVID-19 protection from vaccines than natural infections…  but there’s no absolute way to tell if your body is generating either low, medium or high levels of COVID-19 antibodies, unless you test. …

= = = = = = =

**My top-Virologist wife and I fully & heartily support people getting vaccinated.

We simply want people to realize that the vaccines hav some significant gaps in their protection – that means we must still continue to wear good tight-fitting medical grade masks … and continue to socially distance after getting vaccinated.

The COVID vaccines are neither magic-bullets … or Cure-Alls …

The COVID vaccines are a very fine tool in reducing COVID risks

Still, the good New England Journal of Medicine report on 1.2 million Israelis shows the Pfizer vaccine only provides “55% effective protection” from “COVID hospitalization” for some patients.

and only “77% effective protection” from “serious COVID disease ” for some patients.

Roughly 50 million current Pfizer-vaccinated people are expected to get COVID infections, based on the 91% protection efficacy … per the New England Journal of Medicine.**

= = = = = = = =
Observations re COVID antibody testing after getting vaccinated:
Because our bodies make different antibodies to each of the different vaccines … your antibodies depend on which vaccine you get.

Pfizer & Moderna as m-RNA vaccines with tiny viral payloads, only trigger our bodies to make a narrow range of antibodies.

The Oxford, JnJ & Sinvovac adenovirus-based vaccines likely trigger our bodies to make a wider, more diverse range of antibodies.

Then notice that the COVID antibodies our bodies make are DIFFERENT from the antibodies our body makes to a natural COVID infeciton. Natural COVID infections produce both spike protein antibodies and other Coronavirus proteins, like the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein.

That means that when you get vaccinated… and go in for a “COVID antibody” test at your hospital lab … you will likely get a “Negative” result … “No COVID antibodies present” … which is a false-Negative, because the test is designed to NOT DETECT vaccine triggered antibodies.


= = = = = = = = = = = =

Why? … the current COVID antibody lab tests (Blocking ELISA tests using specific antigens) are geared to detect antibodies to the nucleocapsid protein. This means they are intentionally designed to NOT detect our antibodies to the m-RNA vaccines., to avoid the problem of VISPs … vaccine-induced seropositivity (VISP) test results. 😉

… but STAY SAFE by continuing to wear medical grade masks & socially distancing.  


Stay Safe, … Stay Healthy … Stay Informed,

Dr. Steven M. Fry
Ph.D. in Chemistry, Public Health, Measurement Science, & Aerosol Science

* * * * * * *

INTERESTED in SIGNING UP to Get Vaccinated in Mexico? … See this report:


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12 Responses to How COVID-19 Vaccines Work & How the Vaccines Differ so Widely from Each Other

  1. janneewannee says:

    Would you comment on CanSino? (currently being administered in Patzcuaro) Per The Lancet review, CanSino’s data for Phase 1 and 2 trials is for ages 18-59 only — no data published for 60+.

    • yucalandia says:

      CanSinovac’s one shot efficacy is strikingly similar to the other one-shot vaccine => 66% efficacy.

      “CanSino Biologics Inc.’s experimental coronavirus vaccine has an efficacy rate of 65.7% at preventing symptomatic cases based on an analysis from late-stage trials, adding a one-shot candidate to the world’s growing arsenal against Covid-19.”’s%20experimental,growing%20arsenal%20against%20Covid%2D19.

      then on to:

      “Within 14 days after the vaccination, 183 (72%) of 253 participants in the 1 × 1011 viral particles dose group, and 96 (74%) of 129 participants in the 5 × 1010 viral particles dose group reported at least one solicited adverse reaction, both of which were significantly higher than the 46 (37%) of 126 participants in the placebo group (p<0·0001; table 2). The most common systemic solicited reactions in the 5 × 1010 and 1 × 1011 viral particles dose groups were fatigue, reported by 42% and 34%; fever, reported by 32% and 16%; and headache, reported by 29% and 28%, respectively. The most common injection site solicited reaction was pain, reported by 57% of the 1 × 1011 viral particles dose group and 56% of the 5 × 1010 viral particles dose group. Although most adverse reactions were reported as either mild or moderate, 24 (9%) of 253 participants receiving the vaccine at 1 × 1011 viral particles had severe (grade 3) adverse reactions, which was significantly higher than those receiving the vaccine at 5 × 1010 viral particles (p=0·0011) or placebo (p=0·0004). The most commonly reported grade 3 adverse reactions was fever, in 20 (8%) of 253 participants in the 1 × 1011 viral particles dose group, and one (1%) of 129 participants in the 5 × 1010 viral particles dose group. High pre-existing Ad5 immunity, increasing age, and male sex were associated with significantly lower occurrence of fever post vaccination (appendix p 13). The grade 3 reactions were self-limited and resolved within 72–96 h without medication (appendix pp 14–15). The unsolicited adverse reactions within 14 days post vaccination were reported by 19 (8%) participants in the 1 × 1011 viral particles dose group, seven (5%) in the 5 × 1010 viral particles dose group, and seven (6%) in the placebo group, showing no difference across the groups."

  2. markemmer says:

    Can you comment on the DNA load of the Cansino vaccine that is now being given in parts of Mexico?

  3. says:

    1) if you get vaccinated this time, then you’ll need to keep doing it every 4-8 months — twise a year, every year, till the end of your life. Are you ready? Otherwise, why get vaccinated at all?

    2) is there a proof that one won’t have any side effects not in week-month, but in, say, 1-3 years?

    3) and if the virus is so dangerous, such that one need a vacciane, tell me: how do 98-99%, if not more, have managed to survive it then? Without a problem, and without a vacciane. Right, it’s dangerous for those for whom it is as such — for 1%.

    • yucalandia says:
      poses some questions that are basically just anti-vax and COVID-denier rumors.

      ” 1) If you get vaccinated this time, then you’ll need to keep doing it every 4-8 months ”
      There is no evidence to support this rumor.
      The reported evidence for 44,000 Pfizer -vaccinated patients shows the EXACT OPPOSITE … 6 months after their vaccinations last summer (2020).

      All 44,000 patients are showing GOOD to EXCEPTIONAL levels of COVID-antibodies in their blood samples … and the only gap is for 80 – 90 yr olds .. 33% of them are showing a lack of killer-T cells for COVID.

      Is over age 80 ?

    • yucalandia says:

      “2) is there a proof that one won’t have any side effects not in week-month, but in, say, 1-3 years? ”

      Basically … yes …
      If you took the time to read the report & scientific data presented above, the adenovirus-vaccine vehicles have very long-proven track records of being very safe, very effective and with almost no significant side effects. …
      Do you take baths ..?
      Do you step in and out of the shower … ?

      Do you ride in cars?

      All of these activities have decades of far far more proven serious risks than getting vaccinated. … Yet … you continue to drive or ride in cars.

      * * * * * *
      Then notice that ALL of the m-RNA has been found to be completely destroyed by our immune system in just 10 days or less. … Why would anyone expect a natural compound (m-RNA) that is gone from the body in 10 days … to ~magically~ … cause problems 3 yrs later?

      Seriously … Do you eat anything off a grill … or ever inhale diesel exhaust fumes from walking on a street ?? … Those are inherently more risky than risks 3 yrs later from the vaccines.
      Dr. Steven M. Fry

    • yucalandia says:
      offers the most vile fake lies from the superstitious anti-vaxxers and wacky COVID-deniers:
      ” 3) and if the virus is so dangerous, such that one need a vacciane, tell me: how do 98-99%, if not more, have managed to survive it then? Without a problem, and without a vacciane. Right, it’s dangerous for those for whom it is as such — for 1%.”

      Notice the 550,000 dead Americans… from COVID.

      Why do the nasty anti-vaxxers & irrational COVID-deniers ignore the 11 million Americans living with serious permanent harm from COVID infections.

      Why do they so cruelly lie ..?
      pretending that 11 million Americans are not suffering from a combination of permanent lung damage … brain damage … nervous system – neurological damage … kidney damage … and liver damage.

      People like … literally are the worst…

      awful … deceptive … nasty … twisted … bizarre individuals.

    • yucalandia says:


      People who want to avoid emailing them … keep a watchful eye out from him/her/it at:

      If you really want to avoid him/her/it …
      stay away from IP address

      likely yet another of’s lies … as a location in Turkey … in Karsyaka Mezarligi …

  4. Emilie says:

    Excellent. Thank you.

  5. Pingback: COVID Vaccination Plan for Merida – Over Age 59 Residents | Surviving Yucatan

  6. I am curious what you think about mixing vaccines. For example, I got the Sinovac here in Mexico but I may be in the U.S. before being able to get the second dose. I could get a Moderna vax in U.S.

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