As the country adjusts to a new phase of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, prioritizing the availability of the U.S. blood supply is paramount. Blood is an essential part of the nation’s health care system and relied upon for medical treatments for millions of patients. No substitute for blood exists and blood products have a limited shelf life. Thus, the U.S. blood supply must constantly be replenished by blood donors whose generosity ensures the continued availability of blood for patients who depend on it.
Blood centers nationwide have reported declines in blood collections in recent weeks. Some have reported their lowest donor turnout in more than a year. These trends are concerning, as both patients and blood centers depend on the altruism of donors to ensure that blood is available for life-saving treatments.
AABB, America’s Blood Centers and the American Red Cross are joining together to urge eligible, healthy individuals to make and keep an appointment to donate blood now and throughout the summer months, a historically challenging time of year for blood collections. Doing so is essential to maintaining the availability of the nation’s blood supply and ensuring life-saving treatments for patients in need.
With the COVID-19 vaccine rollout ongoing nationwide, the blood community reminds individuals that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration blood donation eligibility criteria does not require a deferral for individuals who have received a vaccine authorized in the U.S., including those manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer. Vaccinated individuals are encouraged to bring their vaccination card to the blood collection site at the time of donation and will be asked which type of vaccine they received. Individuals who do not know which manufacturer produced the vaccine they received, or who received a vaccine outside of the U.S., may be asked to wait two weeks before giving blood. Blood collection organizations adhere to the highest standards of safety and infection control, and donors are needed to help save lives.