For people of the North Country, United Helpers delivers the specialized medical, physical, and emotional support needed to be connected to life. We've been caring for our neighbors for more than 120 years, and no other provider comes close to the reach of our network, the breadth of our services, or the depth of our commitment. United Helpers is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit.


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COVID: Education: What We are Learning

Vaccinations: What we are learning

As guidelines change and more and more people become eligible for vaccination, it is important to stay up to date with the most recent information.

We encourage and reinforce the availability of COVID vaccine for anyone who has not already been immunized with the following updated statistics and report:


  • A recent study by Pfizer indicates their vaccine is 91% effective at preventing COVID 6 months after being fully vaccinated.  These updated results include the study of 12,000 people who had been fully vaccinated over a 6-month period.
  • The 91% efficacy is a bit lower than the rate of 95% during the clinical trials in November involving 44,000 individuals.
  • The vaccine, in a clinical trial of 800 participants, has been 100% effective in preventing illness from the South African variant.  Although this study group was small, the findings were encouraging.
  • More than 300 cases of the South African variant have been documented in 25 states according to federal data.
  • Researchers from Pfizer and the University of Birmingham found the vaccine triggers protective antibodies against the Brazil variant as well.
  • Real-world (outside of clinical trials) studies document a 91.3% rate of preventing symptomatic infection overall.
  • During the original clinical trials, researchers identified 927 cases of COVID among the 46,000 members who had been vaccinated.  Of those who tested positive during the clinical trials, 850 had received a placebo.  Only 77 infections were found among participants who received the actual vaccine.
  • A report published in March identified essential health care workers’ risk of developing symptomatic COVID-19 was reduced by 80% after the first dose of either Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
  • In February it was reported two thirds (2/3) or sixty-seven percent (67%) of ALL COVID-19 infections were prevented when analyzing people who were being tested regularly.  This data shows the potential for the vaccine to reduce asymptomatic transmission.
  • While vaccination doesn’t protect against all infections, most of the current and real-time data is demonstrating 100% protection from severe illness and/or death.


Most Common Side Effects — What to Expect 



  • The most common side effects for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are pain at the injection site, fever, chills, headache, and tiredness
  • More mild side effects have been reported in Johnson & Johnson’s recipients, with fewer people experiencing pains, aches, fever, fatigue, or nausea
  • Anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction has been reported in a few people who’ve gotten Pfizer and Moderna, but not J&J
  • Another rare reaction, but only in Moderna patients, is ‘Covid arm,’ in which people experience itchy and swollen skin
  • Young people are more likely to have side effects because their immune systems are more robust than those of older people
  • Women are more likely than men to experience reactions due to a mix of biological and behavioral factors
  • Doctors say side effects are not a cause for concern, but merely a sign that your immune system is building up a response


The attached fact sheets address why some people may be reluctant to receive the vaccine out of fear or anxiety.  Tips include what happens when anxiety and fear aren’t addressed, compassion, what you can control, self-care, and acceptance.  Please take a few moments to read and reflect on how this impacts your decision.


The second attachment provides reminders of who is eligible to receive the vaccine, what to expect, and safety.  You can also follow this link to determine your eligibility or to see which type of vaccine is being offered and distributed throughout New York state.





Blanchard, S. (2 April 2021). US Health Chiefs Row Back On Boss’s Bold Claim That “Vaccinated People Do Not Carry the Virus” and Say the “Evidence Isn’t Clear” – After Official Study Reveals Pfizer and Moderna’s Jabs Stop 90% of Infections.  Retrieved April 2, 2021, from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9430083/Coronavirus-health-chiefs-row-bold-claim-vaccinated-people-not-carry-virus.html


Kekatos, M. (1 April 2021). COVID-19 Vaccine and Side-Effects: Doctors Explain the Reaction After Receive Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson Shots, Why Some People Get Them – and Why You Shouldn’t Worry.  Retrieved April 2, 2021, from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-9428645/Doctors-explain-reactions-receiving-Pfizer-Moderna-Johnson-Johnson-shots.html