The American Red Cross is in desperate need of blood donations.

In a press release, the Red Cross announced that it is experiencing its worst blood shortage in over ten years. The national blood crisis has prompted the organization to reach out to the community to urge those who are able to donate to do so.

Blood supply levels are so low that doctors are having to make difficult decisions concerning which patients receive blood transfusions, putting many patients at risk.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges for the Red Cross’s collection efforts. Many North Texas appointments are not being filled and blood drives are being cancelled throughout the area.

Dr. Baia Lasky, medical director for the Red Cross, urges the community to donate so that patients won’t have to wait for critical care:

Winter weather across the country and the recent surge of COVID-19 cases are compounding the already-dire situation facing the blood supply. Please, if you are eligible, make an appointment to give blood or platelets in the days and weeks ahead to ensure no patient is forced to wait for critical care.

While all blood types are needed, the Red Cross is especially in need of Type O. Schedule an appointment to make a donation at this location.

The Red Cross has teamed up with the NFL to give donors the chance to win a trip to Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles. Those who donate during National Blood Donor Month, which is January, are automatically entered to win the trip. Additionally, donors are entered to win a home theater package and a $500 e-gift card.

Learn more at RedCrossBlood.org/SuperBowl.

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.

Here are some tips for self-care during the pandemic: