MANCHESTER— This spring as COVID-19 vaccines become more available and people resume some of their favorite activities, the American Red Cross is reminding the public that the need for blood remains. Healthy individuals are encouraged to make a blood donation appointment now. But what about those who’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine – can they donate?
As long as donors are symptom-free, feeling well and can provide the vaccine manufacturer’s name, there’s no waiting period required after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine currently authorized in the U.S. Additional blood donation eligibility information is available at RedCrossBlood.org/Eligibility.
Three reasons not to wait to donate:
• Donors, especially those with type O blood, are needed in May to help ensure blood products are available for patients now and into summer.
• Those who come to give blood, platelets or plasma in May will be automatically entered for a chance to win a travel trailer camper that sleeps five, powered by Suburban Propane.*
• Plus, those who make it in to give May 1-15 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card by email, courtesy of Suburban Propane.**
Schedule an appointment now to give blood and make it a summer full of life for patients. Appointments can be made by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.
Health insights for donors
The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet, and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. Testing may also identify the presence of antibodies developed after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
Plasma from routine blood and platelet donations that test positive for high levels of antibodies may be used as convalescent plasma to meet the potential future needs of COVID-19 patients. Convalescent plasma is a type of blood product collected from COVID-19 survivors who have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus.
The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.
At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is also screening all blood, platelet, and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease. Blood transfusion is an essential treatment for those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race, ethnicity and blood type have a unique ability to help patients fighting sickle cell disease.
Donors can expect to receive antibody test and sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.
Blood drive safety
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face masks for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities in Rockingham County: Chester: Sat., May 8, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Chester Fire Station, 27 Murphy Drive; Danville: Wed., May 5, 12:00-4:00 p.m., Danville Community Center, 169 Main Street; Deerfield: Wed., May 12, 2:00-6:30 p.m., Deerfield Community Church, 15 Church Street; Derry: Fri., May 14, 2:00-7:00 p.m., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 50 Adams Pond Raod; Epping: Mon., May 10, 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., American Legion Post 51-Epping, 232 Calef Highway; Greenland: Sat., May 8, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Camp Gundalow, 176 Tuttle Lane; Hampton Falls: Sat., May 1, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Hampton Falls Fire Department, 3 Drinkwater Road; Londonderry: Tues., May 11, 1:00-6:00 p.m., Londonderry Lions Hall, 256 Mammoth Road, and Fri., May 14, 1:00-6:00 p.m., Londonderry Lions, 256 Mammoth Road; Newington: Mon., May 3, 12:00-5:00 p.m., Mall at Fox Run, 50 Fox Run Road; Nottingham: Thurs., May 13, 2:00-7:00 p.m., Nottingham Community Center, 139 Stage Road; Portsmouth: Wed., May 12, 1:00-6:00 p.m., Portsmouth Elks Lodge, 500 Jones Ave, Wed., May 12, 1:00-6:00 p.m., State Street Church, 634 State Street, Thurs., May 13, 12:00-5:00 p.m., Holiday Inn, 300 Woodbury Avenue, Thurs., May 13, 2:00-7:00 p.m., Best Western Plus Wynwood Hotel & Suites, 580 US Hwy 1 Bypass, Wed., May 5, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Piscataqua Savings Bank, Griffin Park, 200 Griffin Road Unit 10, Fri., May 7, 1:00-6:00 p.m., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Andrew Jarvis Drive, Fri., May 7, 12:00-5:30 p.m., Middle Street Baptist Church, 18 Court Street; Raymond: Fri., May 7, 12:00-4:00 p.m., Raymond Baptist Church, 145 Rte 27; Salem: Thurs., May 13, 1:00-7:00 p.m., Bishop Peterson Hall, 37 Main Street; Seabrook: Mon., May 10, 1:00-6:00 p.m., Trinity United Church Parish House, 29 Main Street and Sat., May 15, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Trinity United Church Parish House, 29 Main Street.
About blood donation
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds, and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.