Q: I have had the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is 63% effective against COVID-19. Now that there is a surplus of vaccines, would it be possible for me to also get one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, which are 94% effective? If so, how would I go about doing that?
Answer: Glenda Dancy, the assistant public health director, said that it is not recommended to receive more than one complete COVID-19 vaccination series if you have had a single, valid vaccination series of either a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or a single dose of Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine.
“A person is considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) or two weeks after receipt of the single dose of the Janssen vaccine,” Dancy said.
Q: I am writing on behalf of several senior citizens who have been receiving phone calls for someone who says they are with the Social Security Investigation Agency and need to speak to someone as soon as possible. They don’t leave a name or callback number. Is this a scam?
Answer: In all likelihood, it is a scam. The Office of the Inspector General, the arm of the Social Security Administration that investigates scams and Social Security fraud, said that it continually receives reports of people who are impersonating Social Security employees calling people to try to get personal information or demand money.
“If the caller demands sensitive personal information, payment via gift card or pre-paid debit card or wire transfer, it is a scam” the agency said on its website.
“If the caller makes threats when you do not comply with their request, it is a scam.
“If you receive a suspicious call:
“1. Hang up.
“2. Do not give them money or personal information.
“3. Report the scam at OIG.SSA.GOV/REPORT.”
Q: Is there a facility in Winston-Salem that collects and recycles #5 (PP) plastic? Whole Foods used to recycle it but when I ask now I get differing answers about whether or not they still offer that service. If they do recycle No. 5, where do they send it? How can they recycle #5 but we can’t through our residential recycling?
Answer: You can continue to take #5 items to Whole Foods in Winston-Salem. Spencer Taylor, a spokesperson for Whole Foods said that the “Winston-Salem store does accept #5 plastics for recycling. We just don’t have a separate bin specifically for #5 like we used to. Instead, customers can place their #5 plastics in the regular recycling bins.”
Helen Peplowski, the director of sustainability for the City of Winston-Salem, said that this is a frequently-asked question.
The city’s curbside recycling program doesn’t accept the No. 5 items because they don’t fit the requirements of the neck being smaller than the bottom. Waste Management, creates the guidelines for what they will accept based on the recycling markets that are influenced by the ease of recycling the item.
The No. 5 items are made from a resin that is heat-resistant and is different from other plastics, making it more difficult to process.
“There are other solutions if residents are willing to take an extra step to recycle their No. 5s. TerraCycle is a well-known ‘unrecyclables’ recycling company that involves mailing items in. Earth911.com provides more information about those difficult-to-recycle No. 5s and ways to dispose of them other than the trash https://earth911.com/home- garden/recycle-plastic-number-5,” Peplowski said.
Write: Ask SAM, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101