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Yes, you can donate blood after getting the COVID-19 vaccine

Blood banks are experiencing a critical shortage, and they're encouraging people who've been vaccinated not to hesitate to donate.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The American Red Cross has a constant need for blood donations, especially now during the pandemic. Bloodworks Northwest is also putting out a call for people to help increase their supply. 

One reason for critically low supply is confusion about donating after the COVID-19 vaccine. 

"We're just treading water here, but we truly have about a 24-hour supply of blood and we have not been this low of blood for a long time. Probably well over a year," said Vicki Finson with Bloodworks Northwest. 

Finson says this month, they've seen fewer donors than usual and many canceled appointments. She suspects people getting the vaccine may be worried about whether they can donate. To that, she says vaccinated people can and should give blood.

"You could actually get the vaccine and donate blood the same day. You might want wait till the next day, but there is no time delay there." said Finson. 

The Red Cross also encourages donations, but says you need to know which vaccine you've gotten in order to avoid a waiting period. 

In a video released earlier this week, the Red Cross explained, "long as you know the name of the manufacturer, which you can find on your vaccine card, there's no wait. If for some reason you don't know the name of the manufacturer, we'll ask you to wait two weeks before you donate blood just out of precaution."

Both organizations agree donating blood donation is essential and encourage those who've been vaccinated not to hesitate.

"Now you helped protect yourself and your family and others around you by getting your vaccine. Now you can save a life by donating blood," said Finson.

People can donate blood every 56 days. 

Search for a Bloodworks Northwest donation location here.

Find a Red Cross blood drive here.

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