Live townhall TODAY at 1 p.m. ET: Join us today for the next live townhall with our CEO. Graham will be joined by Dr. Isra Levy, vice-president, medical affairs and innovation, and Judie Leach-Bennett, vice-president, general counsel and chief risk officer, to address your questions about approved vaccines, how Canadian Blood Services is advocating on your behalf has a high-priority health-care organization and other topics that are top of mind for you. Click the meeting link in your Outlook invite to join live. Can’t make it? An event recording will be made available on your COVID-19 employee portal shortly following the live broadcast.
Winter Wellness Challenge week six — get active outdoors: With temperatures starting to warm up across the country, this week is the perfect opportunity to commit to more time outdoors. Exposure to fresh air and sunshine are key components to our overall well-being, and week six, the final week of the Winter Wellness Challenge, is all about getting active outside. “Being connected to our environment is critical,” says Sunil Mudaliar, a wellness champion, brand ambassador and the manager of facilities, operations and programs in British Columbia. “I started going for a walk or run every day, rain or shine, and I felt so much better.” Read more about Sunil’s six tips to increase your physical activity in the great outdoors on Connect.
Five reasons to #BeAHero and join the stem cell registry: Monique Sosa, a brand ambassador and writer for our digital marketing team is supporting our annual #BeAHero initiative to recruit potential stem cell donors to Canadian Blood Services Stem Cell Registry. We sat down with Monique to discuss what the campaign means to her and why she’s hoping other Canadians will join in supporting diverse patients in need. “The Canadian Blood Services Stem Cell Registry is not very diverse” says Monique. “About two-thirds of registrants are Caucasian. And that really hit home for me. I was born and raised in Belize, and I’m of mixed Hispanic and Mestizo background. If I or someone in my family needed a stem cell transplant, I know it’s very likely we would struggle to find a match.” Hear more from Monique and why registering to be a hero is so important on blood.ca/stories.
For this nine-year old, the need for blood never stops: Like many other kids, Journey Dickson has had to grapple with certain elements of his childhood being put on hold for the past year. One part of everyday life that hasn’t changed, however, is his ongoing need for blood transfusions. Every three weeks, Journey must skip a day of online school, suit up in his protective mask and visor and prepare for a full day of blood work and transfusions. This is because Journey was born with Diamond Blackfan Anemia (DBA), a rare blood disorder that affects the bone marrow. People who live with DBA produce little to no red blood cells and regular blood transfusions often become a critical part of life to help prevent anemia; a condition that can result in symptoms like fatigue, weakness and shortness of breath. Read more on blood.ca/stories.
Question of the day: Will donating blood reduce the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine?
No — there is no suggestion or evidence in the research available that donating blood will reduce the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine.
To understand this a little better, it is important to know why blood donation won’t impact the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine and how vaccines develop immunity in our bodies in the first place.
Even though our blood can provide lifesaving products and services to patients in need, donating does not remove the vaccine from the body. It also won’t deplete the body of important immune fighting cells and antibodies that are formed in response to the vaccine.
Vaccines help develop immunity by imitating an infection. This type of infection doesn’t cause major illness, but it does cause the immune system to produce special white blood cells and antibodies that will remember how to fight that disease in the future. These immune responses are stored throughout the body, in the blood and certain organs like the spleen.
A very small number of white blood cells might be in the blood that is taken during blood donation, but that amount would not be enough to affect the bodies “memory” or antibodies responsible for fighting the disease.
To put it in perspective, average adults have about five to six liters of blood in their bodies, and whole blood donation requires only about 500 ml. The human body is constantly producing more blood, including the white blood cells required for our immunity against all infections.
Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine at www.blood.ca/employees/vaccines.
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