By now, you’ve probably noticed a trend: book your next blood drive today! Some of you might be wondering why there is increased pressure to add not just your next blood drive to the calendar, but future ones as well.
Here’s a snapshot of the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and how they’re affecting the blood supply:
- In 2019, one-fifth of Vitalant’s mobile blood drives were hosted by a school. Due to the closures and subsequent restrictions that schools underwent to keep students and faculty safe during the pandemic, nearly 12,000 fewer blood drives were scheduled in 2020.
- As a result, Vitalant – and blood banks nationwide – have relied on individuals and community blood drives to help fill the gap while continuing to emphasize the importance of bringing school blood drives back to campus.
- And now, as individual blood donors are returning to their pre-pandemic routines, which may not include blood donation, we’re leaning on partners like you to be an advocate for patients and book their next blood drive.
Unfortunately, there are still a lot of unknowns for the 2021-2022 school year. We don’t know if school will be remote, if students will need to be vaccinated or wear masks, or if blood drives will be allowed on campus.
But we do know that the blood needs of our nation’s patients are not going away. Here are a few things that you can do to help patients right now:
- Schedule your next two (or more!) blood drives now to give you adequate time to prepare for recruiting donors. In some areas, advanced planning means priority scheduling for you and your group. It's not too early to look at the 2022 calendar, either!
- Complement your next blood drive with a virtual blood drive to encourage blood donation for those who have a conflict on the day of your event.
- Consider hosting an extra blood drive this year compared to previous years. People can typically donate whole blood every 56 days, which means organizations can host a blood drive up to six times a year with the blood donors they have already recruited.
- Consider your friends, family, coworkers, and the organizations you engage with on a regular basis. Do you know someone who has what it takes to organize a successful blood drive? We’d appreciate your referral.
Are you a coordinator for a school blood drive?
- Start making plans now with your administration to allow blood drives on campus for the 2021-2022 school year. Contact your Vitalant representative to let them know what resources or information you need to address objections or questions.
- If there are concerns about hosting a drive on campus, consider alternative locations where you can host a school blood drive, engage your students with blood donation and volunteerism, or host a virtual blood drive.