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Vandenberg Holds First Blood Drive since Start of Pandemic

Community members come to Vitalant’s mobile clinic to donate blood at the first blood drive since the start of the pandemic on Vandenberg Space Force Base, California, Aug. 10, 2021.

Staff Sgt. Jasmine Sobreo, Space Delta 5 intelligence analyst, gets her blood drawn for donation by Zach McLean, assistant donor care supervisor, on Vandenberg Space Force Base, California, Aug. 10, 2021. Blood donations are used to help hospital patients within the community in their time of need. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman Kadielle Shaw)

Community members come to Vitalant’s mobile clinic to donate blood at the first blood drive since the start of the pandemic on Vandenberg Space Force Base, California, Aug. 10, 2021.

Capt. Jennifer Tenumah, 532nd Training Squadron courseware developer, checks in for her donation appointment in the Base Exchange parking lot on Vandenberg Space Force Base, California, Aug. 10, 2021. Vitalant, a non-profit donation organization, came to Vandenberg SFB to hold a blood drive for the first time in approximately 18 months due to the pandemic. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman Kadielle Shaw)

Community members come to Vitalant’s mobile clinic to donate blood at the first blood drive since the start of the pandemic on Vandenberg Space Force Base, California, Aug. 10, 2021.

Community members come to Vitalant’s mobile clinic to donate blood at the first blood drive since the start of the pandemic on Vandenberg Space Force Base, California, Aug. 10, 2021. Vitalant will be returning for another blood drive on base Aug. 17, 2021, inside the Fitness Annex. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman Kadielle Shaw)

VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. --

VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. --

Members of the 2nd Space Launch Squadron, 30th Medical Group, and Space Delta 5 held the first blood drive since the start of the pandemic at the Base Exchange on Vandenberg Space Force Base, California, Aug. 10, 2021.

Capt. Lenita Campbell, 30th MDG lab consultant , 1st Lt. Aaron Gettemy, 2SLS mission integrator, and SSgt. Lauren Burgher, SD 5 assistant to Chief of Current Operations, joined together in the preparation and setup of the blood drive held by Vitalant, a non-profit organization that organizes blood drives for Santa Barbara County, including Vandenberg SFB.

"After our last drive at the beginning of the pandemic, we lost our on-site coordinator for local blood drives," said Diane Frantela, Donor Recruitment Representative of Vitalant. "But, now we have a new coordinator and we're back to organizing blood drives for all of Santa Barbara County." 

Due to the global pandemic that has affected millions worldwide, available blood supplies have dwindled throughout the United States. This has also hindered the opportunity for donations. But, as vaccination rates continue to rise, blood drives and donation clinics are eager to find volunteers.

"The U.S. is in a nationwide urgent need for all blood types, but Type O blood recently became a critical need," Diane said.

Getting volunteers to donate blood is crucial in these troubling times. Demands for blood have been higher than normal for America in the past year.

"As the world starts to open back up, people are getting back to their normal lives," Diane said. "This means less people are taking their time to come and donate, even when it's desperately needed right now."

As blood drives make a comeback, 30th MDG encourages its community members to consider donating during America's time of need. Another blood drive will be held on base Aug. 17, 2021, inside the Fitness Annex. For those interested, keep an eye out for highlight e-mails, posters around base and Facebook posts marketing the Aug. 17 blood drive, as well as future ones.

To learn more about blood donations or how to donate, contact the Vandenberg 30th Medical Group at 805-606-2273.