TIMONIUM, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland has administered more than 1.1 million COVID-19 vaccines, including more than 200,000 in the last week, but the fight is ongoing in another department of life-saving practices.

Kurt Luthie, the Executive Director of the Montgomery Howard Frederick Chapter of the Red Cross, said the recent extreme winter weather is cause for major alarm.

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“In the last month, we’ve lost about 15,000 potential donations, and we need to make that up,” Luthie said.


That means fewer blood products available for emergencies across the state of Maryland, but especially during the pandemic when antibodies are registered if you’ve had COVID-19.

“If you do have those antibodies, we can pull out the plasma and use that for convalescent plasma to help other people who are suffering from COVID-19 in a more severe way,” Luthie said.

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Bob Barroll is one of those important donors.

“They’re great here. No pain and it’s easy. I recommend everybody do it,” Barroll, a Towson resident, said.

“It’s something easy you can do that helps somebody else out that doesn’t really hurt you in any way to do anything,” he added.

With the state positivity rate below 4% for the first time since October, Maryland is in a race to get back on track. The Red Cross is trying to do the same.

There are blood donation opportunities at several locations across the state through March 15.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.