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

1. Donors, especially those with type O blood, are needed in May to help ensure blood products are available into the summer.

2. Those who donate in May will be automatically entered for a chance to win a travel trailer camper that sleeps five from Suburban Propane.

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3. Plus, those who give May 1-15 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card by email, also from Suburban Propane.

To schedule a donation appointment, download the 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.

The Red Cross tests blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. It also tests the donations of self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait, in order to better help sickle cell patients.

Donation sites will conduct temperature checks and follow social distancing and face coverings guidelines. The Red Cross asks that those who are sick postpone donating until they are well.

Places to donate in Alexandria:

  • Wednesday, May 5: 1-6 p.m., Alexandria Area YMCA, 110 Karl Dr.

  • Thursday, May 6: 12-6 p.m., Living Word Lutheran Church, 1722 16th Ave. E.

  • Monday, May 10: 1-6 p.m., St. Mary's Catholic Church, 420 Irving St.

  • Tuesday, May 11: 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., St. Mary's Catholic Church, 420 Irving St.

  • Friday, May 14: 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Ollie's Service, 111 Donna Ave.