26.05.2024

The victims of AstraZeneca’s vaccine

Covid vaccines are estimated to have saved millions of lives, by both protecting people from the virus and helping end the paralysing series of lockdowns. But for dozens of families in the UK, one type of vaccine — the version made by AstraZeneca — resulted in the devastating loss of one of their loved ones.

As families and survivors continue their fight for compensation, MailOnline highlights just some of those who have died:

Tom Dudley, 31, from Sheffield, died from a blood clot triggered by the AstraZeneca jab ten days before medics were told to offer an alternative to the age group Tom Dudley, 31, who had no underlying health conditions, got his first dose of the AstraZeneca jab near his home in Sheffield on April 27, 2021.

The 30-plus age group was not called forward for Covid vaccine until late May.

It is not clear if the father-of-two was called forward for a jab early as some people who lived with vulnerable Brits were or, as happened at various points during the initial vaccine rollout, he was able to get a jab early in his area.

Tom, who worked as a carpet salesman, soon began to suffer headaches — a common side effect of the British-made vaccine that normally fades within days.

Two weeks after getting the jab, he was found unresponsive in the early hours at the home he shared with his partner Simone and their two daughters.

The Sheffield United fan was rushed to Northern General Hospital, but doctors said the bleed on his brain was ‘incurable’ and he died three days later.

It is not clear if this bleed was specifically caused by a condition called vaccine-induced immune thrombocytopenia and thrombosis (VITT), which causes dangerous blood clots to form in various parts of the body, including the brain.

However, a medic who treated the father-of-two in hospital told an inquest into Tom’s death that it was ‘fair to say’ he would still be alive today if he was given a different vaccine.

Britain’s medical regulator recommended under-30s should get an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine in early April when it became clear that younger people were at greater risk of the clots — but it did not widen the advice to under-40s until May 7.

Mr Dudley’s GP said that given his age, lack of underlying conditions and the medical advice at the time, it was appropriate to give him AstraZeneca’s jab.

Coroner Tanyka Rawden recorded his cause of death as a bleed on the brain, caused by the vaccine.

Common side effects, which health bosses say can affect more than 10 per cent of recipients, include fatigue, 'flu-like' symptoms, and pain in the arms or legs. Stomach pain, a rash and excessive sweating were uncommon, strikes roughly one in 100 people who get vaccinated

Common side effects, which health bosses say can affect more than 10 per cent of recipients, include fatigue, ‘flu-like’ symptoms, and pain in the arms or legs. Stomach pain, a rash and excessive sweating were uncommon, strikes roughly one in 100 people who get vaccinated

Rare (approximately one in 1,000) issues include facial drooping on one side. Very rare (one in 10,000) side effects can see people paralysed

Jack Hurn, 26 

Jack Hurn, 26, died less than two weeks after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine in June 2021. An inquest heard he was told there was no Pfizer jab in stock and was given out-of-date information in relation to blood clot risks associated with the vaccine Jack Hurn, from Redditch, died from ‘catastrophic’ blood clots after receiving AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine.

The 26-year-old died in June 2021, less than two weeks after receiving the jab at a Dudley vaccine centre.

A week-long inquest at Birmingham Coroner’s Court heard that a GP informed Jack the risk of blood clots on the brain for his age group was one in 250,000, when NHS guidance had actually estimated it to be one in 50,000.

The inquest heard the automotive design graduate chose to go ahead with the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine on May 29, 2021, after being told there was no Pfizer jab in stock.

Jack, originally from Devon, began suffering with headaches within days and died on June 11 at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, despite emergency surgery.

Doctors allegedly described him as having ‘catastrophic’ blood clots on the brain.

Emma Brown, HM Area Coroner for Birmingham and Solihull, ruled in a report that his death was ‘due to a rare but recognised complication’ of the vaccination.

Kelly Dunley, 38 

Kelly Dunley, pictured, died weeks after having the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine, something a coroner has ruled contributed to her death Kelly Dunley, 38, died after developing a deep vein thrombosis — a type of blood clot — after receiving the AstraZeneca Covid jab, a coroner ruled.

Kelly, from Stoke-on-Trent, had her first jab on March 2, 2021.

The 30-plus age group was not called forward for Covid vaccine until late May that year.

It is not clear if Kelly was called forward for a jab early or if she was able to get a jab early in the area.

She was rushed to Royal Stoke University Hospital on May 17, 2021, after collapsing.

Despite the best efforts of medics, she died at the hospital on the same day. A post-mortem found a blood clot in her leg had travelled to her lung.

The examination also found that she had a laceration to her liver, which was likely caused by the attempted resuscitation, and an abnormal spleen.

A coroner ruled last year that her death was a pulmonary embolism caused by deep vein thrombosis and was linked to ‘complications of the vaccine’.

Oli Akram Hoque, 26

Trainee solicitor Oli Akram Hoque, 26, received a dose of the vaccine on March 19, 2021 before suffering increasingly ‘excruciating’ headaches Oli Akram Hoque, 26, from Ilford, died from a rare blood clot weeks after taking the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The trainee solicitor received his first dose on March 19, 2021, before suffering increasingly ‘excruciating’ headaches and vomiting blood.

People in their late 20s were not called forward for the initial jab rollout until June.

It is unclear if Oli was called in for a jab early or if he was able to get a vaccine sooner than expected in his area.

He died at Queen’s Hospital in Romford on April 15, 2021 — one month before his 27th birthday.

His father told an inquest that Oli had gone to the urgent treatment centre located at the Royal London Hospital on April 5.

However, he said his son was was ‘discharged without proper diagnosis or investigation’ with an injection to stop him being sick.

His father also said Oli had ‘requested a scan to be carried out but his request was declined’.

He later had a seizure and was taken back to Queen’s Hospital where a CT scan identified a blood clot. He was then put on blood thinners but later died in hospital.

Britain’s medical regulator recommended under-30s should get an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine in early April when it became clear that younger people were at greater risk of the clots.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is a genetically engineered common cold virus that used to infect chimpanzees. It has been modified to make it weak so it does not cause illness in people and loaded up with the gene for the coronavirus spike protein, which Covid-19 uses to invade human cells

The AstraZeneca vaccine is a genetically engineered common cold virus that used to infect chimpanzees. It has been modified to make it weak so it does not cause illness in people and loaded up with the gene for the coronavirus spike protein, which Covid-19 uses to invade human cells

Nicola Weideling, 45

Nicola Weideling died of a stroke caused by the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab. She is pictured with her husband, Kurt Nicola Weideling died of a stroke caused by the AstraZeneca jab.

The 45-year-old Oxford University Press executive suffered catastrophic bleeds on her brain after being hospitalised with blood clots caused by the vaccine.

She received the jab 24 days prior on April 21.

Her husband, Kurt, paid tribute to her during an inquest into her death saying she was ‘a supporter and believer in getting vaccinated. She went on the first or second day she was eligible for her age group to get vaccinated’.

Nicola had complained to her GP following her jab about neck pain but the link to jab was not made until she was taken to hospital with several other symptoms of blood clots.

A post-mortem examination showed Nicola died on May 15, 2021 after suffering a stroke caused by VITT.

Alpa Tailor, 35 

Alpa Tailor, 35, fell ill just over a week after getting her first dose of the coronavirus jab in March 2021

Mother-of-two Alpa Tailor, 35, died from blood clots on her brain caused by the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Alpa fell ill just over a week after getting her first dose of the coronavirus jab in March 2021.

The 30-plus age group was not called forward for Covid vaccine until late May that year.

It is not clear if Alpa was called forward for a jab early or if she was able to get a jab early in the area.

St Pancras Coroner’s Court heard that Alpa was complaining of a headache before she suffered stroke-like symptoms, including slurred speech and a facial droop.

She was rushed to hospital on April 8 and quickly diagnosed with the then-new complication VITT.

Alpa had surgery to relieve pressure on her brain and, whilst doctors initially thought she had responded well to treatment, on April 22, medics discovered she was suffering from massive brain haemorrhaging.

The devoted mother, who had the jab to ‘protect her family’, died on April 24 and a post-mortem examination found she had suffered multiple brain clots.

Lisa Shaw, 44

Lisa Shaw, an award-winning radio presenter, died aged 44 in May 2021 after having the Covid vaccine

Lisa Shaw, an award-winning radio presenter on BBC Radio Newcastle, died in May 2021.

Until she was admitted to hospital she had been fit, healthy and fizzing with the sort of energy her job on the morning show required.

Lisa had been vaccinated on April 29, but started developing headaches a week later.

On May 13, she was admitted to hospital where her husband Gareth Eve, now 43, was handed a print-out explaining what VITT was.

At first doctors were confident they could treat it, but on May 16, Lisa started to have speech problems.

Her husband, Gareth Eve, recalled: ‘We were having a conversation about [their son] Zach’s swimming lessons and she couldn’t get out the word «goggles».’

It was discovered she had suffered a bleed on the brain, and was rushed to surgery where part of her skull was removed to ease the pressure.

She never recovered and spent the last five days of her life on a ventilator, as her family gathered in shock.

Lisa died on May 21 leaving behind her six-year-old son Zach.

In a very small number of cases — about one in 100,000 in the UK — the vaccine can set off a chain reaction which leads to the body confusing its own blood platelets for fragments of virus. The shell of the vector vaccine — the weakened cold virus used to teach cells how to neutralise Covid — sometimes acts like a magnet and attracts platelets, a protein found in the blood. For reasons the scientists are still probing, the body then mistakes these clumps as a threat and produces antibodies to fight them. The combination of the platelets and the antibodies clumping together leads to the formation of dangerous blood clots

In a very small number of cases — about one in 100,000 in the UK — the vaccine can set off a chain reaction which leads to the body confusing its own blood platelets for fragments of virus. The shell of the vector vaccine — the weakened cold virus used to teach cells how to neutralise Covid — sometimes acts like a magnet and attracts platelets, a protein found in the blood. For reasons the scientists are still probing, the body then mistakes these clumps as a threat and produces antibodies to fight them. The combination of the platelets and the antibodies clumping together leads to the formation of dangerous blood clots

Stephen Wright, 32

Dr Stephen Wright with his wife Charlotte. Dr Wright, 32, who worked as a clinical psychologist in south-east London , suffered a blood clot to the brain after having his first dose of the jab in January 2021

Dr Stephen Wright, 32, who worked as a clinical psychologist in south-east London, suffered a blood clot in the brain after having his first dose of the jab in January 2021.

He was among the earliest groups of people to be given the vaccine during the pandemic.

Stephen suffered from a combination of a brainstem infarction, bleed on the brain and ‘vaccine-induced thrombosis’.

He was taken to Princess Royal University Hospital in Orpington and moved to King’s College Hospital as his condition rapidly worsened. But the nature of the bleed meant Stephen was unfit for surgery. He died on the evening of January 26.

Regarding the official documents detailing Stephen’s death, a coroner said: ‘It is very important to record as fact that it is the AstraZeneca vaccine – but that is different from blaming AstraZeneca.

‘He attended an A&E department just after midnight where was found to have high blood pressure and a sagittal sinus thrombosis.

‘He was transferred to King’s College Hospital at 6.39am but, due to the extent of the bleed and very low platelets, was unfit for surgery.’

Medical experts told the court nothing could be done to save him as his condition quickly worsened.

Jack Last, 27

Jack Last, 27, died at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge on Tuesday, April 20, just 11 days after attending A&E because he was suffering from headaches

Jack Last, a 27-year-old man from Stowmarket, Suffolk, was vaccinated with the AstraZeneca jab on March 30 2021.

But a week later, he was admitted to hospital after experiencing headaches and sickness.

A subsequent scan revealed the engineer had a cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, a type of blood clot in the brain, and he died on April 10.

People in their late 20s were not called forward for the initial jab rollout until June.

It is unclear why Jack was called in early to get a jab.

A coroner investigating his passing ruled that Jack died from a reaction to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Michelle Barlow, 51

Michelle Barlow, 51, began suffering headaches and nausea about a week after receiving her first dose of the jab in March

Michelle Barlow, a ‘fit and healthy’ mother-of-two from Wigan, died from blood clots caused by the AstraZeneca vaccine in March 2021.

The 51-year-old began suffering headaches and nausea about a week after receiving her first dose of the jab.

She was eventually admitted to hospital but died later that month.

Mrs Barlow, who worked as a civil servant for the Department of Work and Pensions for 34 years, was found to have suffered multiple organ failure caused by VITT.

Her family were unable to see her in hospital for most of the time she was there due to Covid restrictions.

Zion, 48

Zion, 48, died on May 19 2021 at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary after suffering a ‘catastrophic brain injury’ in very rare complications from the AstraZeneca vaccine

A rock singer, who called himself Zion, suffered a ‘catastrophic brain injury’ from a rare complication triggered by the AstraZeneca jab.

The 48-year-old had an agonising headache on May 13, 2021, eight days after getting his first dose.

He later died at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on May 19.

An inquest held at Newcastle Coroner’s Court in August last year heard how his condition severely deteriorated in the days after his headaches began.

A paramedic who was first called to Zion’s home in Alston, Cumbria, on May 15, 2021, gave evidence at the inquest and said Zion was ‘alert and sat up’ when she arrived.

She told the hearing that she advised Zion to go to hospital for further checks, but he said he did not want to go for fear of catching Covid.

Vikki Spit, Zion’s fiancé and partner of 21 years, told the inquest the paramedic was ‘adamant’ the migraine was nothing to do with the vaccine and that they both ‘believed her’.

The paramedic said she didn’t receive official guidance regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine and its rare potential risks until around July that year.

On May 17, another paramedic arrived at Zion’s home and described him as ‘confused and vacant’.

Zion then had a small seizure and he was immediately taken to Carlisle Hospital in an ambulance.

He was then transferred to Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle upon Tyne for emergency brain surgery, with medics finding he had suffered a brain bleed, causing it to dangerously swell.

Despite their efforts, Zion died.

At his inquest, Vikki said: ‘We knew younger people weren’t getting the AstraZeneca vaccine.

‘But he wasn’t in that age group so we didn’t think anything of it. It was all good, he’d done his bit, he was keeping people safe.’

Senior coroner Karen Dilks, said: ‘Zion died due to very rare and aggressive complications of the AstraZeneca Covid vaccination.’

The graph shows the cumulative number of Covid jabs dished out in the UK since the pandemic began, the percentage of each age group which has had a jab (bottom left) and the number of each Covid vaccine brand dished out

The graph shows the cumulative number of Covid jabs dished out in the UK since the pandemic began, the percentage of each age group which has had a jab (bottom left) and the number of each Covid vaccine brand dished out

Kim Lockwood, 34

Kimberley Lockwood died following a ‘catastrophic brain bleed’ 10 days after having her jab

A mother-of-two with a brain condition died 10 days after getting her AstraZeneca vaccine.

Kimberley Lockwood, from Rotherham in South Yorkshire, was found to have suffered a ‘catastrophic brain bleed’ from a rare side effect of the jab on March 24, 2021.

She complained of an excruciating headache eight days after her AstraZeneca jab on March 14 that year.

The 34-year-old sought help from medics at Rotherham Hospital but died 17 hours after being admitted.

At an inquest in March last year, her cause of death was recorded as VITT.

In her comments, South Yorkshire Coroner Nicola Mundy said Kimberley had been ‘extremely unlucky’.

She suffered from idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH), a disorder that causes increased fluid pressure around the brain.

IIH can cause incredibly painful headaches and Ms Lockwood and her family originally suspected this was cause of her headache in the days after her jab.

She sought medical help for her headache on March 22, going to A&E as her symptoms began to worry her.

But after being told it would be two-hour wait to be seen, she decided to go home. Kimberley returned the next morning as her symptoms got worse.

Yet she died the following day in hospital.

Her husband, Damien, described her as someone who ‘everybody loved’ and who would ‘light up a room’.

Kasey Turner, 18

At just 18, student paramedic Kasey Turner is thought to be one of the youngest victims of the AstraZeneca jab complications

One of the youngest victims of the AstraZeneca jabs is thought to be 18-year-old Kasey Turner, who died in February 2021.

The student paramedic died two weeks after receiving the vaccine after being prioritized in the jab roll-out as a healthcare worker.

While as a healthy young person she had a low risk of suffering serious health complications from Covid, health staff like her were given the jab to reduce the risk they might pass it on to elderly and vulnerable people they worked with.

Kasey, from Barnsley in south Yorkshire, was admitted to hospital after experiencing intense headaches.

These were later revealed to be caused by cerebral venous thrombosis, an extremely rare complication of the vaccine itself.

An inquest in March last year found that she had died due to VITT.

Richard Todman, 60

Richard Todman, pictured with his wife Deborah

One week after his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in March last year, the unthinkable happened to Richard Todman.

The 60-year-old part-time employment judge from North London suffered catastrophic blood clots in his bowel.

The condition can quickly become life-threatening, as the clots can break off and travel elsewhere in the body, stopping blood and nutrients from reaching vital organs.

Within three weeks, Richard was dead.

A coroner’s report later confirmed the cause of the clots that killed him was the AstraZeneca jab.

His wife Deborah described him as the ‘love of her life’.

‘We didn’t have children, so we spent our lives together travelling the world and having adventures,’ she said in May last year. ‘His death really was the worst thing that could have ever happened.’

Despite the heartbreak, she acknowledged that Richard’s death was an anomaly.

‘Richard never hesitated to have the vaccine,’ she said.

‘As far as he was concerned, it was the right thing to do. He was very keen to have it to keep himself and others safe.’

Tanya Smith, 43

Tanya Smith suffered from severe stomach cramps and was taken to hospital where they discovered she had multiple blood clots

Tanya Smith, a mother-of three, died of multiple blood clots just weeks after having the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The 43-year-old received her jab on March 21, 2021 at the Plymouth Argyle vaccination clinic.

But the childminder then began suffering from severe stomach pains in the days after getting the jab.

She was later admitted into Derriford Hospital and died on April 3 in intensive care.

At an inquest into Tanya’s death in December that year, senior coroner Ian Arrow said the blood clots were a ‘very rare complication’ of the coronavirus vaccine.

As a key worker, Tanya was prioritized for the vaccine.

Other people in their 40s would have to wait until April to be called forward for a Covid jab.

Neil Miller, 50

Kam Miller, 57, pictured left and Neil Miller right, in 2016 five years before his death. He died on May 1, 2021, aged 50 after getting his AstraZeneca Covid vaccination in March 2021

Neil Miller, a father-of-two, died on May 1, 2021, about one month after getting his first AstraZeneca jab.

The 50-year-old, from Leicester, suffered from cold-like symptoms, including headaches, in weeks following the initial dose.

Neil, who wrote IT manuals, took himself to bed on April 6 as his condition worsened.

The next day, he was rushed to A&E, complaining of what he felt like was a heart attack. There, medics found he had a blood clot near his heart and, after a couple of nights in hospital, sent him home, armed with medication.

Two days later, on April 13, he collapsed and was rushed back to hospital, where doctors found that there was also blood clots in his legs.

This was when medics realised AstraZeneca’s vaccine could be to blame.

By April 19, Neil was struggling to speak, read and walk as blood clots had gone to his brain.

He was discharged from hospital on April 26.

But just a few days later, Neil collapsed again. His family called 999 and started CPR.

When paramedics arrived, they spent 45 minutes trying to resuscitate him.

But Neil was declared dead at the scene.

Despite Neil being diagnosed with vaccine-induced thrombosis, one of the major complications of AstraZeneca’s jab, prior to his death, his autopsy ruled that he died of natural causes.

His wife, Kam Miller, 57, fought for a year to change the cause of death on the certificate, which now explicitly states the jab was to blame.

Stephen Ward, 57

Stephen Ward, pictured above, was 57 when he died on March 23, 2021, just a couple weeks after getting the Astra Zeneca Covid vaccination

Stephen Ward died from a blood clot just 11 days after getting the AstraZeneca vaccine.

His clot was confirmed to be caused by the jab.

The father-of-two, who had recently retired from the Coop after working there for 40 years, received his first dose on March 12, 2021.

Around one week later, he developed a headache that saw him take himself to bed, where, within a couple of days, he developed a pins and needles sensation in his right arm, struggled to speak and was unable to walk.

His wife Sheila called for an ambulance, which took him to hospital, where doctors said he had a venous clot and a bleed in his brain.

Medics said they were treating the 57-year-old, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, for VITT.

Doctors proceeded with surgery after Stephen had seizures while in hospital and further scans revealed he had more bleeds on the brain.

But the procedure was unsuccessful — medics told Stephen’s family that the damage to his brain was too severe for him to survive.

He died on March 23, 2021, with Sheila and his two sons, Joe and Sam, by his side.

An inquest confirmed that Stephen’s death was the ‘result of medical vaccination’.

UK’s Covid vaccine roll-out timeline

4 December 2020: Covid jab rollout begins with the Pfizer vaccine. Over-80s and care home workers are given priority

30 December 2020: AstraZeneca’s jab is approved for emergency use

4 January 2021: Brian Pinker, 82, is the first person to receive the jab outside of clinical trials

8 January 2021: Frontline NHS staff start being offered vaccines

8 February 2021: Over-70s are called forward

14 February 2021: Roll-out opens up to Brits with underlying heath conditions, as well as the over-65s

28 February 2021: All over-60s are invited for jabs

17 March 2021: Over 50s start being offered Covid jabs

31 March 2021: People living with vulnerable adults are called forward to get a Covid vaccine, even if they are younger than eligible age groups

7 April 2021: UK restricts the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine to over-30s over a small but statistically significant risk of blood clots in younger people

30 April 2021: Over-40s are called forward

7 May 2021: Restriction of the AZ vaccine is widened to include over-40s

26 May 2021: Roll-out opens up to over-30s

7 June 2021: 25-29-year-olds are called forward for Covid jabs

16 June 2021: Remaining over-20s can now get jabbed

17 June 2021: Invites are sent to anyone over the age of 18 who has yet to be offered a jab

At various points during the Covid vaccine rollout people were able to get their jabs earlier than the official rollout.

This was sometimes a case of there being some spare jabs if people did not arrive to their vaccine appointments or from pop-up vaccination sites that came online once the supply of jabs went up.

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