American Red Cross Urges You to Get Your Flu Shot

December 13, 2011

Skip Flu Season & Give the Perfect Gift


What’s the best word to describe flu season?  Unpredictable.  Flu activity in the U.S. commonly peaks in January or February, according to the Centers for Disease Control, but seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue through late May.[1]


That’s why it’s important for everyone six months of age and older to get protection from this serious disease by getting a yearly flu vaccine. 


A healthy population means a healthy pool of blood donors.  The Red Cross encourages you to skip flu season this year.  Stay healthy and give life through blood donation.


It only takes about an hour to donate blood, and in that hour, you can unwrap a lifetime of memories for hospital patients in your community and across the country. The need for blood is constant and doesn’t pause for the holidays. By taking time to donate this winter, you can give the perfect gift to someone in need and help the Red Cross ensure a stable blood supply.


All blood types are needed to help maintain a sufficient blood supply, especially type O negative. Type O negative blood, the universal blood type, is always in high demand because it can be transfused to patients with any blood type, especially in emergency situations.


In addition to illness, winter blood drives are often cancelled due to inclement weather and school closings.  You can help maintain an adequate blood supply by staying healthy and giving blood when the weather permits during the winter months.


This holiday season, give something that means something with a donation to the Red Cross.  The Red Cross Holiday Giving Catalog has 25 symbolic gifts representing all Red Cross services that people can purchase in the name of a loved one during the holiday season.  Check out the catalog at



How to Donate Blood:

Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit for more information or to make an appointment. All blood types are needed to ensure the Red Cross maintains an adequate blood supply. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Donors must be in general good health, weigh at least 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old (16 with completed Parental Consent Form). New height and weight restrictions apply to donors 18 and younger. 


About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at