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Ask SAM: How can I tell if my mailed stimulus payment is legit?

Ask SAM: How can I tell if my mailed stimulus payment is legit?


Q: I received what appears to be an Economic Impact Payment card in the mail. The envelope said: "Not a bill or an advertisement. Important information about your Economic Impact Payment." The return address was Economic Impact Payment Card PO Box 247022 Omaha, NE 68124-7022. I read somewhere that legitimate cards have a different return address. The card itself looks legit but I want to make sure before I activate.


Answer: SAM checked the IRS website at The envelope you described is the same as one pictured on the website. Your card is legit. 

Q: When a person takes one of two COVID-19 shots when will one have a reaction? What are the side effect reactions? Once COVID-19 shots are given are you immune to COVID-19? Does this mean you do not have to wear a mask?

Answer: Yes, you should continue to wear a mask, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

As for side effects, some people will experience those, said Glenda Dancy, the assistant public health director at the Forsyth County Department of Public Health

“The vaccines may cause side effects in some people, like sore muscles, feeling tired or mild fever," Dance said. "These reactions mean the vaccine is working to help teach your body how to fight COVID-19 if you are exposed. For most people, these side effects will last no longer than a day or two. Having these types of side effects does not mean that you have COVID-19. If you have questions about your health after your shot, call your doctor, nurse, or clinic. As with any medicine, it is rare but possible to have a serious reaction, such as not being able to breathe. It is very unlikely that this will happen, but if it does, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room."

It takes time for your body to build up immunity, Dancy said.

"It takes about two weeks to achieve about 50% immunity, and then six weeks, two weeks, after the second dose to achieve the full effect of the vaccine," she said.

Even after you have been vaccinated the CDC recommends that people continue to wear masks, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer, and social distance. In addition you should continue to always covering your mouth when you cough, and sneeze into a tissue.   

“COVID-19 vaccination and following recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19," the CDC said.

As experts understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide they will be able to make decisions on changing recommendations to slow the spread of the virus. In addition to learning about the vaccines protection, they will also look at how many people are getting vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities.

Thank you

"A huge "thank you" to the person who paid for our lunch last week in drive through at McDonald's in King. What a nice surprise to start the new year. We paid it forward by paying for the person's lunch in car behind us--double blessing!" J.B.



Write: Ask SAM, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101

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