'He'd be here if he'd had his jabs': Stepson of 'first UK Omicron victim' speaks to LBC

16 December 2021, 10:44 | Updated: 7 June 2023, 08:56

Exclusive: UK's 'first Omicron victim' refused to have Covid jab

By Asher McShane

A relative of the UK's 'first Omicron victim' told LBC today that his stepfather was fit and healthy but died after refusing to get his Covid-19 vaccinations after being taken in by anti-vaxxer "conspiracy theories".

The caller, who gave only his first name only as John, told LBC his sister was informed by doctors that his stepdad was the first person to die with Omicron.

Boris Johnson said earlier this week that at least one person in the UK had died with the Omicron variant. John told LBC he believes this person is his stepfather, who was in his early 70s, healthy and ‘never went out’.

John told Nick Ferrari this morning that his stepdad died on Monday at a hospital in Northampton.

"He was a recluse to be honest with you, he never went out, he had his shopping brought to him. The only place he went to was the bin, outside the block he lived in, and the postbox," John said.

Read more: Whitty: Omicron is a 'serious threat' and people should socialise 'carefully'

Read more: British tourists banned from visiting France as Omicron cases rise

"He was one of the cleanest guys I ever knew.

"He wasn't vaccinated at all. My sister, she’s gutted - but on the other hand she’s a little bit angry that he never took these vaccines.

“She did have an argument with him at the end of October about this very thing, getting vaccinated.

“He thought it was a conspiracy. He was an intelligent man but it’s all these different things you are getting from online and different media things.. about oh it’s not real…conspiracy theories really."

John said his stepdad fell ill with Covid at the start of December and was hospitalised at the beginning of last week.

He died on Monday, John said.

Omicron Covid variant: Nick Ferrari speaks to Care Minister

“I didn’t have a relationship with him, my sister did. From what she told me they [doctors] phoned her every day.” He died at a hospital in Northampton, John said.

“He was scared” towards the end, John said - but added his stepdad shared a video call with his daughter while in hospital which made him feel better.

“He started to look good and then just went boom downhill.”

“He was fit, he ate healthy, he didn’t smoke, he hadn’t drunk in 30 years near enough.”

John told LBC his sister was “absolutely gutted”

"Had he been vaccinated, he would probably still be here. He might be ill, but he'd still be here."

“If you’re vaccinated and you’ve got your booster, you should be alright. It’s the ones that haven’t got it, they’re the ones that need to be worried now.”

The UK has recorded the highest number of daily Covid-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with 78,610 cases reported on Wednesday.

The previous record was 68,053 during lockdown on 8 January.

Yesterday professor Chris Whitty issued a plea for people to cut back on social events and 'prioritise' who they spend time with ahead of Christmas due to the threat from the Omicron variant.

Prof Whitty told the public "don't mix with people you don't have to" at events that are not among the most important to them."I really think people should be prioritising those things - and only those things - that really matter to them," he told a Downing Street press conference.

"Because otherwise the risk of someone getting infected at something that doesn't really matter to them and then not being able to do the things that matter to them obviously goes up."