Get a flu vaccine and give blood: that’s the ask of the American Red Cross who is urging healthy donors of all blood types to give blood ensure a strong blood supply as the U.S. braces for flu season while already in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because blood can only be given by those who are feeling well, a severe flu season could create additional challenges to maintaining a sufficient blood supply for hospital patients in need. Getting the flu vaccine this year will not only slow the spread of influenza, but also ensures patients continue to have access to lifesaving blood products. Upcoming blood drives are being planned throughout Marinette and Menominee Counties and you can find dates, locations, and make an appointment to give by going online to RedCrossBlood.org. The Red Cross also continues to test donations for COVID-19 antibodies which may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to the coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. These tests are helpful in identifying individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusions.