Health Hut in Kirkhill had applied to be a vaccination site, but was told in a letter just before Christmas that it had not been selected as a designated site at this stage.
The Morpeth Herald and its sister titles across the UK are urging Prime Minister Boris Johnson to deploy the country’s network of 11,000 pharmacies as front-line Covid vaccine centres.
People in the county have expressed concern over vaccine arrangements – from the information they are being given about their own jab to the distance they will have to travel to receive it.
Nadeem Shah, who runs the Health Hut, said that pharmacies were even busier than usual during the first lockdown because the Government directed people to go to pharmacies if possible rather than hospitals and GP surgeries.
He added: “Therefore, we were surprised that community pharmacies were absent when it came to the vaccine roll-out programme.
“We were all ready and willing to help out, but although we met all the criteria – such as being able to provide the required number of vaccinations per week – we were not included.
“It shouldn’t be left to just out-of-town hubs and providing the vaccine locally means vulnerable groups of people don’t have to travel far, and they would receive the vaccine in a familiar environment.”
Despite warm words from the Government in the past few days, we believe it is essential that every single one capable of taking part is given a cast-iron assurance that they will be allowed to play their part – with the minimum of red tape.
Office for National Statistics figures show there are around 40 such pharmacies in Northumberland and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society is among the organisations that are also supporting the campaign, called A Shot in the Arm.