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Red Cross ‘grateful’ to Iowa blood donors through thick of pandemic

DES MOINES — Throughout the pandemic, Iowans continued to give the gift of life through blood donations.

American Red Cross spokeswoman Sue Thesenga says it’s gratifying to see how donors have consistently given hundreds of pints, typically from behind masks. “We are so grateful to the donors who stepped up in the past year,” Thesenga says. “People really helped us maintain a stable blood supply through the pandemic and they continue to do so.”

For the million-plus Iowans who’ve gotten a COVID-19 vaccination in recent weeks, Thesenga says they’re still eligible to give blood.  “This is an important message to get out,” she says. “In most cases, there is no blood donation deferral time after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.”

Thesenga says donors will be asked which shot they received — Moderna, Pizer, or Johnson & Johnson. Donors know the importance of their actions, she says, and how they’re helping to save lives.  “People realize that,” Thesenga says. “They are looking for ways to help and they know rolling up a sleeve and donating blood is a really easy way to do that.”

Summer is a challenging season to collect blood as people are busy getting outdoors and vacationing. She assures, giving blood is easy and typically takes less than an hour from your day, while the actual blood donation only lasts five to ten minutes. Make an appointment at

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