NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TN Tribune) – Concerns about the Covid-19 delta variant are impacting blood
drives throughout the region, leading to a reduction in the already strained blood supply.

Since the beginning of the month, a number of businesses and organizations have reconsidered holding
their planned mobile blood drives with Blood Assurance. As a result, nearly 39% of scheduled August
donors have either cancelled or not shown up.

As of Monday, there is less than a three-day supply of O-positive, O-negative, B-positive and B-negative
blood in the Blood Assurance service area.

“We encourage donors to schedule donations at our fixed centers to compensate for this additional loss
in mobile collections,” according to Dr. Ted Kieffer, regional medical director for Blood Assurance.

Those concerned with donating blood during the pandemic should know that the blood supply remains
safe from Covid-19. There is no evidence that Covid-19 can be transmitted through blood, according to
America’s Blood Centers. In addition, the FDA explicitly allows donors who have received an authorized
Covid-19 vaccine to donate blood, provided they are healthy and meet all other eligibility criteria for
blood donation.

“It only takes an hour to contribute to saving someone’s life, so please consider donating,” Kieffer said.
To encourage people to donate lifesaving blood, platelets, plasma and double red cells, Blood Assurance
is giving away a $100 Target gift card every day until Aug. 31 to one bloodmobile donor and one
individual who donates at any Blood Assurance brick-and-mortar facility.

Donors can schedule an appointment online at bloodassurance.org/schedule, or by calling 800-962-
0628, or by texting BAGIVE to 999777. Walk-ins will be accepted.

To be eligible to donate blood, you must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with parental consent),
weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids — avoiding
caffeine — and eat a meal that is rich in iron prior to donating.

Blood Assurance is a nonprofit, full-service regional blood center serving more than 70 health care facilities in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky and North Carolina.

Founded in 1972 as a joint effort of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society, the Chattanooga Area Hospital Council and the Chattanooga Jaycees, the mission of Blood Assurance is to provide a safe and adequate supply of blood and blood components to every area patient in need.