Every summer, there is an increased need for donors to maintain the nation's blood supply. Because of the pandemic, there is now an emergency need for COVID-19 convalescent plasma.

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The American Red Cross  is putting out the urgent call for plasma from donors who have recovered from the virus. The plasma from recovered people may contain COVID-19 antibodies that can attack the virus. This convalsescent plasma is being evaluated as a possible treatment for currently ill patients. Click here to see if you qualify.

In the meantime, our nation's blood supply is down, in part because of the pandemic. The number of donors has dwindled as people stay indoors. That's combined with the usual drop in giving during the summer as people get busy with other things. There's also some fear involved in the safety of donating during a pandemic. The FDA  has issued a reminder that COVID is a respiratory disease. It is not transmitted by blood. Also, the American Red Cross is diligent in following guidelines to stop transmission.

The Red Cross is holding the Hannibal Rock and Roll Up Your Sleeve Blood Drive on Monday, August 17 from 11:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. It's at the American Legion Post 55 Lounge at 3819 Highway MM. It's sponsored by Y101 and the Hannibal High School Student Council. You're encouraged to make an appointment to speed up the process. You can call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org.