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Rep. Mike Thompson tours St. Helena’s COVID-19 vaccine clinic

Rep. Mike Thompson tours St. Helena’s COVID-19 vaccine clinic

Rep. Mike Thompson at vaccine clinic

Rep. Mike Thompson, center, talks to St. Helena Hospital Foundation President Glen Newhart and volunteer Karen Cakebread on Tuesday at the vaccination clinic at the Napa Valley College Upper Valley Campus in St. Helena.

Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, spent an hour Tuesday morning touring the St. Helena Hospital Foundation’s vaccine clinic at the Napa Valley College Upper Valley Campus.

“They’ve got this thing dialed in,” Thompson said after meeting with Glen Newhart, president of the St. Helena Hospital Foundation.

“There’s a tremendous number of volunteers here,” Thompson added. “As (Newhart) pointed out, some of them come here every day.”

Since late January the St. Helena Hospital Foundation has been vaccinating senior citizens, health care workers, teachers, first responders, farmworkers, restaurant workers, and people with pre-existing conditions that put them at greater risk from COVID-19. Between its two clinics at the campus and the hospital, the foundation will have administered more than 25,000 doses after Friday’s clinic.

Thompson said Napa County and the rest of the counties in his district have done “a phenomenal job.”

“The holdup is the vaccines,” he said. “If we had twice as many vaccines today, they could give twice as many shots.”

He noted that vaccination rates are increasing nationwide, increasing from 2.5 million to 3 million per day.

“The Biden Administration’s done a good job leveraging the Defense Production Act to force folks to produce not just the vaccines, but the syringes and the vials,” Thompson added.

He also praised the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which provides funds for economic stimulus, state and local governments, small business loans, reopening schools, vaccines, testing, contact tracing, and research.

Editor’s note: Because of the health implications of the COVID-19 virus, this article is being made available free to subscribers and non-subscribers alike. If you’d like to join us in supporting the mission of local journalism, please visit napavalleyregister.com/members/join.

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Jenny Ocon speaks at Rep. Mike Thompson's press conference on the American Rescue Plan, March 25, 2021.

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You can reach Jesse Duarte at 967-6803 or jduarte@sthelenastar.com.

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