Vitalant sees hundreds show up for blood donations a day after 4th of July

Nearly 500 people were set up to donate blood in Arizona Sunday, and for people who rely on blood transfusions, that's huge.

Vitalant is also giving donors a chance to get COVID-19 antibody testing for donating as well.

"Today's been really great. For the first time ever, we did fill every appointment for today's blood drive," said Sue Thew with Vitalant.

The Independence Day holiday week is usually the lowest week of the summer for blood donations, she explained.

"This is the most heavily traveled week of the summer, typically and that's because so many people leave town during the 4th of the July," Thew said.

With more people on the road and potential for accidents, there's never enough blood to be donated, so seeing hundreds come in to give blood is a good sign for people like Dean Edwards.

He's a college student who was born with Diamond-Blackfan anemia. It's a rare condition preventing his body from producing red blood cells.

"It is really important because I do have to get blood transfusions every three weeks, so it is really important that people come out and donate and help out," Edwards said.

Now during a pandemic, Vitalant says donors can get tested for COVID-19 antibodies through the end of August.

If you have those antibodies, you could then donate convalescent plasma which helps the illest COVID-19 patients.

"To know that you could make such a huge difference by donating your convalescent plasma to a patient, that's huge. I can't imagine making a bigger difference for somebody," Thew said.

Jessica Maxwell gives blood three times a year and she's been working to stay healthy through the pandemic.

"I have O Negative blood type which is universal, anyone can take it. So I wanna donate to and help as many people as I can," Maxwell said.

For more information on blood donations and COVID-19 antibody testing, visit