Medics plead for people to get jabs in powerful calls after "needless" anti-vaxxer deaths

6 August 2021, 15:07 | Updated: 6 August 2021, 16:10

By Sophie Barnett

Medics and families of self-confessed vaccine sceptics who have tragically died with Covid are pleading with people to get jabbed after the “needless” deaths of anti-vaxxers.

Several devastating stories have emerged in recent weeks of anti-vaxxers who have died with Covid after refusing to take the vaccine, leading to powerful calls for people to get jabbed.

An intensive care doctor, who spoke to James O'Brien on LBC on Friday, told the harrowing tale of a 27-year-old patient with Covid who was unvaccinated and 29 weeks pregnant.

He said the patient came into A&E at his hospital with "very severe Covid” and told him she had “rejected” the vaccine.

“At that point you could see terror and regret in her eyes as we wheeled her down the corridor to intensive care,” he told James O’Brien.

The patient had to be intubated, and her baby, who was just 29 weeks, is now on a neonatal intensive care unit.

"This lady’s risk of death is very high," the Doctor said, ending his call with a moving plea for people to get the vaccine.

Matthew Keenan, David Parker, Leslie Lawrenson and John Eyers.
Matthew Keenan, David Parker, Leslie Lawrenson and John Eyers. Picture: Social media/contributed

His plea follows calls from families of self-confessed vaccine sceptics, who have urged people to get jabbed following their relatives’ tragic deaths.

Solicitor Leslie Lawrenson, 58, passed away at his home in Bournemouth on July 2, just nine days after posting footage on Facebook explaining why Covid was "nothing to be afraid of".

He refused the jab because he had read posts on social media which made him believe the jabs were too “experimental”.

Leslie Lawrenson died after contracting Covid-19 after turning down the jab.
Leslie Lawrenson died after contracting Covid-19 after turning down the jab. Picture: Leslie Lawrenson/Facebook

His partner Amanda Mitchell, 56, became seriously ill while Leslie was infected and said that his belief that Covid-19 vaccines were too “experimental” put his family at risk.

In videos he posted on Facebook he explained how he felt Covid-19 was not something people should be afraid of.

His partner Amanda spent seven days on a Covid ward being treated for the virus and pneumonia which she developed. She was discharged on July 9.

She said her partner Les made a “terrible mistake and he’s paid the ultimate price”, adding she felt “incredibly foolish”.

Writing on Facebook, she posted that if her partner had had the jab, “he would probably still be with us today”.

“I’m trying to stop any other family suffering a loss and the total devastation that we are going through".

John Eyers, a fit and healthy father from Southport in Wales, died of Covid-19 last week after also refusing the vaccine.

The 42-year-old was described as an “excellent sportsman” by his twin sister Jenny McCann.

Speaking to LBC, his grieving sister revealed John became seriously ill because "he didn’t want to put a vaccine in his body".

"He was just a really gifted and talented sportsperson who I think, if he had channelled it to one particular sport, would have been in the Olympics," she said.

"That's the shocking thing - nobody can really believe that this has happened because he had no pre-existing health issues. Literally none.”

Within days of testing positive, he was taken into intensive care after becoming progressively sicker.

He tested positive on a Tuesday – and died exactly four weeks later.

"Myself, my mum, my dad, even my 11-year-old daughter, were trying to convince him to get the vaccine and his standpoint was very much 'but why should I? I'm young, if you look at all the stats it's old people that die of Covid. If I get Covid, I'll be fine,” explained Jenny.

She went on to ask people to reconsider getting the vaccine if they had not already.

"Don't take for granted your immortality. Don't take it for granted and just have the vaccine if you can."

The 34-year-old contracted the virus and ended up in hospital.
The 34-year-old contracted the virus and ended up in hospital. Picture: Leanne Cheyne

Matthew Keenan - a football coach and father - passed away just weeks after contracting the virus.

His story was first shared online in early July by Dr Leanne Cheyne - a respiratory consultant at the West Yorkshire hospital.

She tweeted: "Self-confessed vaccine sceptic until he caught Covid, if he could turn back time he would. Our sickest patients are unvaccinated & under 40. Matthew is fighting for his life... save yours."

Club boss, David Parker, 56, died at Darlington Memorial Hospital in County Durham on Monday despite having no underlying health conditions.

David Parker, 56, passed away at Darlington Memorial Hospital.
David Parker, 56, passed away at Darlington Memorial Hospital. Picture: Facebook

He posted hundreds of messages trying to warn people Covid-19 jabs are "experimental" and a conspiracy by big pharma and had praised anti-lockdown protestors online.

His friend Steve Wignall, 59, told The Sun: "His family are devastated, they were very close and loved each other dearly.

"But despite their terrible loss they would like it to be known that they're encouraging everyone to please get vaccinated because they don't want others to suffer as they are now."

Read more: Covid: 16 and 17-year-olds to be offered vaccine with no parental consent needed

In England, 71.8m doses of the jab have been given out.

32.4m people have been fully vaccinated, equating to 58% of the population.

Evidence shows that getting the jab helps in breaking the link between Covid infection rates and hospitalisations and prevents people from falling seriously ill from the virus.

Vaccines will soon be offered to those aged 16 and 17, without the need for parental consent, after the JCVI said “the benefits outweigh the risks”.