National Blood Donor Month Kicks Off Amid Continued Nationwide Blood Shortage And Omicron Surge

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 canceling, 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.

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 bloodless 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.

“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.”

“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 snowstorm 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.”



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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 visiting www.nybc.org. 

New York Blood Center 

Founded in 1964, New York Blood Center (NYBC) is a nonprofit organization that is one of the largest independent, community-based blood centers in the world. NYBC, along with its operating divisions Community Blood Center of Kansas City, Missouri (CBC), Innovative Blood Resources (IBR), Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD), and Rhode Island Blood Center (RIBC), collect approximately 4,000 units of blood products each day and serve local communities of more than 75 million people in the Tri-State area (NY, NJ, CT), Mid Atlantic area (PA, DE, MD, VA), Missouri and Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Rhode Island, and Southern New England.

NYBC and its operating divisions also provide a wide array of transfusion-related medical services to over 500 hospitals nationally, including Comprehensive Cell Solutions, the National Center for Blood Group Genomics, the National Cord Blood Program, and the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute, which — among other milestones — developed a practical screening method for hepatitis B as well as a safe, effective and affordable vaccine, and a patented solvent detergent plasma process innovating blood-purification technology worldwide.


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