I can't say I've ever given blood, but I've donated my fair share of plasma over the years. I find the chance to be able to help out a fellow human being very rewarding. I know many other people share those same feelings. As COVID-19 vaccines are more available, the big question is, what about those who’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine – can they donate blood?

The answer is YES! A press release from the American Red Cross reminds everyone, that even though most people are resuming some of their favorite activities, the need for blood remains. The American Red Cross wants to spread the word that the COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the U.S. have no waiting period before blood donation as long as donors are symptom-free, feeling well, know the name of the vaccine manufacturer and meet other donation eligibility requirements (keep scrolling to find a blood drive near you).

Besides right now is a great time to give and here's three excellent reasons not to wait to donate:
• Donors, especially those with type "O" blood, are needed in May to help ensure blood products are available for patients now and into summer.
• Those who come to give blood, platelets or plasma in May will be automatically entered for a chance to win a travel trailer camper that sleeps five.
• Plus, those who make it in to give May 1-15 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card by email.

Get our free mobile app

Those sound like great reasons to me to help give a summer full of life to patients in need. Healthy individuals are encouraged to make a blood donation appointment now on-line, download their app, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or make plans to attend one of these events. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face mask while at the drive.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities May 3-14 in northeast Iowa
5/3/2021: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., First Congregational Church, 502 N Jackson in Charles City
-
5/4/2021: 7 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Charles City High School, 1 Comet Dr in Charles
-
5/4/2021: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., St. Mark's Parish Center, 200 Jackson in Edgewood
-
5/6/2021: 12 p.m. - 4 p.m., College Hill Lutheran Church, 2322 Olive St. in Cedar Falls
-
5/7/2021: 12:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Memorial Building, 414 2nd St in Traer
-
5/7/2021: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Stone Ridge Community Church, 1111 Montgomery Street in Decorah
-
5/12/2021: 1 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Messiah Lutheran Church, 229 Chestnut St. in Janesville
-
5/13/2021: 12:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Community Center, 202 W South St. in Greene
-
5/14/2021: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., MiEnergy Cooperative, 24049 IA 9 in Cresco

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

LOOK: Famous Historic Homes in Every State