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Oklahoma Blood Institute Promotion Seeks To Get More Oklahomans Vaccinated And 'Back In The Game'

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The Oklahoma Blood Institute on Monday announced a new promotion, meant to encourage Oklahomans to help play a role in solving two public health problems: a blood shortage, and a drop in the number of people getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Blood donors who have been vaccinated will receive a promotional T-shirt depicting a baseball player at bat, smashing a coronavirus particle with a syringe, proclaiming the donor is a "blood donor all-star" who is "back in the game."

“We’re excited to celebrate those donors who are hitting a health home run by both donating blood and being vaccinated,” said Dr. John Armitage, president and CEO of Oklahoma Blood Institute. “Both actions can have a significant impact on the health of our community and the lives of our neighbors. By doing both, you’re really an All-Star, so we’re happy to provide a wearable, highly visible signal of these good deeds to our vaccinated donors.”

Armitage said on a press call Tuesday that he believes those who have gotten vaccinated should be more vocal and project more outward displays of their status, so as to encourage those who have yet to receive the shot. Oklahoma ranks near the bottom nationally for percentage of the population who have received at least one shot.

"If you don't come in and donate blood and get one of our T-shirts and wear it around, certainly projecting that that is something you believe in in your conversations or in other ways of telling the narrative that it is important to those vaccine-reluctants to see that a lot of people have gotten the vaccine," Armitage said.

There is no waiting period required to give blood after receiving any of the approved COVID-19 vaccines. 

Appointments are available at sites across the Tulsa metro and the state online at obi.org, or by phone at 877-340-8777.

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