The Red Cross is giving away Super Bowl tickets to attract much needed plasma donations

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The Red Cross is giving away Super Bowl tickets to attract much needed plasma donations


Want a way to help fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and go to next year’s Super Bowl? The American Red Cross is here to help.

The U.S. is facing a convalescent plasma shortage due to the pandemic, and in an effort to entice people to donate plasma, the American Red Cross and the NFL are giving away two tickets to Super Bowl LVI in 2022. Anyone who donates plasma, platelets or blood to the Red Cross will be automatically entered in the contest to win tickets to next year’s Super Bowl.

Plasma is the clear liquid portion of blood that remains after red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and other cellular components are removed, and makes up the single largest component of human blood.

Those who have recovered from COVID-19 may have antibodies in their plasma that could help another patient. Plasma — particularly from people who have recovered from COVID-19 — is especially useful for treating those who have severe cases of the novel coronavirus, according to the Red Cross.

“While winter is historically a challenging time to collect blood due to the holidays and inclement weather, this year, COVID-19 has added a new challenge,” Dr. Pampee Young, Chief Medical Officer of the Red Cross, said in a statement. “Last month, the Red Cross distributed the greatest number of convalescent plasma products than any other month during the pandemic. With hospital distributions for this product increasing about 250% since October, it is vital that those who have recovered from COVID-19 donate blood or plasma so that we can continue to treat those critically ill with the virus.”

Individuals who have had COVID-19 are encouraged to make a convalescent plasma donation by simply giving whole blood. Blood is needed every two seconds in the U.S. to help patients battling injury and illness.

Similarly, the U.S. blood supply has plummeted, leading to some politicians offering incentives for people who donate. Those incentives include VIP Jets tickets and a year’s worth of Krispy Kreme donuts.

People willing to donate can do so every 28 days, and the average donation takes one hour and 15 minutes. More details and safety precautions about donating plasma can be found on the Red Cross’s website.

See also: NCAA to play all 67 March Madness games in Indiana

The NFL has played the entirety of its regular season despite dozens of players and coaches contracting the virus, and is set to begin its postseason this weekend. While some maligned the NFL for playing a full schedule amid the pandemic for safety reasons, the league has participated in numerous coronavirus relief efforts including a $100 million donation to various relief causes, as well as mask promotions during events.

The number of global cases of COVID-19 edged toward 86 million on Tuesday and the U.S. set yet another record for hospitalizations. The U.S. added at least 196,386 new cases on Monday, and at least 2,047 people died.

The news comes as the vaccine rollout in the U.S. has lagged far behind what was originally expected. As of 9.00 a.m. Monday, just 4.6 million Americans had been vaccinated, far below the most recently revised number of 20 million promised by end-December.



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