Family of man who died from blood clot after AZ vaccine urge others to keep having the jab

8 April 2021, 14:14 | Updated: 8 April 2021, 22:07

The sister of a man who died after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine said he was "extraordinarily unlucky"
The sister of a man who died after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine said he was "extraordinarily unlucky". Picture: PA

By Patrick Grafton-Green

The family of a solicitor who died from a blood clot that was probably caused by his Covid-19 vaccine have urged people to continue to have the jab.

Neil Astles, 59, died on Sunday after getting the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on March 17.

His sister, pharmacist Dr Alison Astles, said her brother was “extraordinarily unlucky”.

READ MORE: Hancock: Under 30s who have had one AZ jab should take the second one

READ MORE: PM urges public confidence in AstraZeneca vaccine as under-30s offered alternative jabs

She told the Daily Telegraph: “Despite what has happened to our family, we strongly believe that everyone should go for their first and second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“Emotionally, we are completely and utterly furious. We are suffering. But there's nothing in our minds to be really furious about. My brother was just extraordinarily unlucky.”

The chances of suffering blood clots after receiving the AstraZeneca jab is 0.000095%, according to the UK medicines regulator.

Dr Astles added: “If we all have the vaccine, a few of us might have a blood clot but the evidence is that fewer people will die.”

Mr Astles had been diagnosed with a “cerebral sinus thrombosis and subarachnoid haemorrhage” with “low platelets and extraordinarily high d-dimer", she said.

His cause of death has yet to be officially recorded by the coroner.

Dr Astles, who is subject leader for pharmacy at the University of Huddersfield, said about a week after her brother had the vaccine he began to have headaches and nausea.

He was taken to the emergency department of the Royal Liverpool University Hospital on Friday night and he died on Sunday.

Clinicians at the hospital were 99.9% sure the clot was due to the vaccine, Dr Astles has said.

She has decided to speak out after watching the press conference on Wednesday led by Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, the deputy chief medical officer.

At the press conference, it was revealed that under-30s will be offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca jab, however the UK medicines regulator said the benefits of the vaccine continue to outweigh any risks.

Up to March 31, the MHRA has received 79 reports of blood clots accompanied by low blood platelet count, all in people who had their first dose of the vaccine.

Of these 79, a total of 19 people have died, although it has not been established what the cause was in every case.

The 79 cases occurred in 51 women and 28 men, aged from 18 to 79.

Of the 19 who died, three were under the age of 30.