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American Red Cross blood drives continue despite the pandemic; two dates set for Newberg in May.

PMG FILE PHOTO - The American Red Cross wants people who have recently received COVID-19 vaccinations to know that there is no waiting period before those individuals can donate blood and blood products.

The American Red Cross wants people who have recently received COVID-19 vaccinations to know that there is no waiting period before those individuals can donate blood and blood products.

The news comes with a few provisos, though. Those folks wishing to donate blood, who have recently been vaccinated, must be "symptom-free, feeling well, know the name of the vaccine manufacturer and meet other donation eligibility requirements," a release from the organization said.

The other caveat is that people who have not been vaccinated and who may have been exposed to the virus, refrain from donating blood for the time being.

"The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test," the release said. "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."

As always, the Red Cross is seeking out donors to bolster its blood supply, especially looking for donors with Type O blood, that is used for surgeries, emergency situations and other scenarios.

In addition, the Red Cross is also screening blood, platelet and plasma donations from African-American donors for the sickle cell trait, which will provide Black donors with insight on their health while also helping 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," the release said.

Blood drives in the Newberg area are set for noon to 5 p.m. Friday at First United Methodist Church, 1205 Deborah Road, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, May 13, at Newberg Church of Christ, 2503 Haworth Ave.

Individuals who donate blood through May 15 will receive a $5 Amazon gift card via email.

To schedule an appointment or for more information on donating blood, call 1-800-733-2767 or visit www.RedCrossBlood.org.


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