Flu season could impact Red Cross low blood supply

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The nation’s blood shortages, a result of increased trauma cases, transplants and elective surgeries amid the pandemic, have put stress on hospitals across the country. (Getty Images)

ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — With the holidays approaching, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fears there could be a spike in flu cases, and urge those who are able to donate blood.

The American Red Cross is undergoing a severe blood shortage and are at their lowest levels this time of year in more than a decade, according to a news release.

You do not have to wait to donate blood if you have recently received a flu shot or COVID-19 vaccine. Donors can make an appointment at redcrossblood.org or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS.

To encourage donating, Amazon is giving away $10 gift cards to those who donate between Nov. 1 through 23. Those who donate around the Thanksgiving holiday, Nov. 24-28, will receive a pair of Red Cross socks while supplies last.

According to the CDC, flu cases were at an all-time low last year thanks to masking, social distancing and lockdowns.

As the winter season approaches, paired with winter weather, busy holiday schedules and COVID-19, low blood supply could see further struggles.

Masks are required for donors at any donation center or blood drive, regardless of vaccination status.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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