As influenza activity picks up this fall, the American Red Cross is urging healthy donors of all blood types to give blood or platelets to ensure a strong supply for patients in need.

Blood and platelets can only be given by donors who are feeling well.

Flu shots don’t affect donation eligibility, according to a Red Cross news release. There is no waiting period to donate after receiving a flu shot, as long as the donor is symptom- and fever-free.

For those who have the flu, it is important to wait until they no longer exhibit flu symptoms, have recovered completely, and feel well before attempting to donate. Donors must feel healthy and well on the day of donation.

Donors of all blood types, especially platelet donors and those with type O blood, are urged to give now, according to the release.

Donors can make an appointment by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, by calling 800-733-2767, or by enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

Donors also can give blood through Versiti Blood Center of Michigan. Visit www.versiti.org, or call 408-1540 to make an appointment or find a donation location.

A blood donor card, driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Donors who are 17 years old (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 112 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.

Upcoming blood drives in Southwest Michigan:

American Red Cross

• 11 a.m.-4:45 p.m. today, City of Dowagiac Public Safety and Fire Department, 302 Wolf St., Dowagiac.

• Noon-5:45 p.m. Monday, Our Lady of the Lake Church, 24832 E. U.S. Highway 12, Edwardsburg.

• Noon-5:45 p.m. Tuesday, Pleasant View Church of Christ, 60550 Crooked Creek Road, Cassopolis.

• Noon-5:45 p.m. Thursday, Celebration Cinema, 1468 Cinema Way, Benton Harbor.

Versiti Blood Center of Michigan 

• 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Versiti Blood Center of Michigan, 2710 Cleveland Ave., St. Joseph.

• 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday, Versiti Blood Center of Michigan, 2710 Cleveland Ave., St. Joseph.

• Noon-5 p.m. Monday, The Wellness Center, conference room, 950 S. Bailey Ave., South Haven.

• Noon-5 p.m. Tuesday, Lakeland Hospital, Watervliet, classroom B, 400 Medical Park Drive.

• 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Wednesday, St. Joseph High School, gym, 2521 Stadium Drive, St. Joseph.

• Noon-7 p.m. Wednesday, Versiti Blood Center of Michigan, 2710 Cleveland Ave., St. Joseph.

• 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Nov. 2, Versiti Blood Center of Michigan, 2710 Cleveland Ave., St. Joseph.

• 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Nov. 3, Versiti Blood Center of Michigan, 2710 Cleveland Ave., St. Joseph.