NATIONAL BLOOD DONOR MONTH KICKS OFF AMID CONTINUED NATIONWIDE BLOOD SHORTAGE AND OMICRON SURGE
January is National Blood Donor Month and comes as a reminder of the constant need for a strong blood supply, particularly at this critical time when the region’s supply remains critically low
NEW YORK CITY– This National Blood Donor Month, New York Blood Center (NYBC) continues to call for more donors as the blood shortage extends into the new year. The region’s blood supply continues to be threatened by low donor turnout and blood drive cancellations due to surging levels of Omicron cases. Schools that had begun to reinstate student blood drives are once again cancelling, perpetuating the dramatic decline in youth and first-time donors. Prior to the pandemic, 50,000 annual blood donations were made at high schools, but the threat of a return to remote learning is making it nearly impossible for them to commit to hosting blood drives.
This is always a challenging time of year for the blood supply, as holiday plans and travel make donating blood less of a priority and winter weather can lead to blood drive cancellations. This year, those seasonal challenges are coinciding with a new wave of the pandemic. Blood centers across the country are and have been suffering from shortages since the start of the pandemic in March of 2020.
“A strong blood supply is essential and can be threatened at any time with emergencies such as inclement weather, which we are currently seeing with the snow storm to our south, and the surge of Omicron cases that we are seeing nationwide,” said Andrea Cefarelli, Senior Executive Director at New York Blood Center (NYBC). “National Blood Donor Month is a great time to sign up to donate blood and start the year by giving back, especially now as we continue to experience this blood shortage.”
Donating blood is safe and only takes one hour. We are taking extra precautions to help prevent the person-to-person spread of COVID-19. All NYBC staff are vaccinated. As always, people are not eligible to donate if they’re experiencing a cold, sore throat, respiratory infection or flu-like symptoms. People can donate blood regardless of vaccination status. Additional information on donor eligibility and COVID-19 precautions is available here.
Donors can schedule appointments by calling 1-800-933-2566 or clicking button below to schedule online.