A tragic incident unfolded at an Inquest on 10th November where a 28-year-old man, Alex Reid, had lost his life due to a rare blood clot caused by the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine. This heartbreaking event arose from an error that occurred almost two decades ago, misclassifying him as morbidly obese. The mistake, dating back to 2004 when Alex was 11, erroneously recorded his weight as 22 stone 12 lbs (145kg) transposing his correct height of 1.45 meters (4ft 92) on to his weight record. This was never subsequently noticed or corrected.
Despite his queries raised during a phone call to his surgery, Alex received his first AstraZeneca dose on March 21, 2021, mistakenly categorized as having a body mass index of 68.97. Tragically, by the time of his follow-up dose on May 18, the government had advised alternatives for those under 30 due to the rare risk of blood clots associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, but stipulated that those who had been given a first dose must have the same vaccine for their second.
The inquest revealed that, on the balance of probabilities, Alex would not have died if not for the AstraZeneca vaccination. The cause of death was identified as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT), a condition linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine suspected of causing numerous deaths and disabilities.
Alex’s grieving parents expressed their anguish, deeming their son’s death “unacceptable, immoral, and fundamentally wrong.” They accused AstraZeneca and the government of neglecting individuals affected by blood clots to expedite vaccine distribution during the pandemic.
Questioning the government’s indemnification of AstraZeneca and other vaccine manufacturers and criticizing the compensation scheme as “not fit for purpose,” the bereaved parents highlighted their two-year struggle for a thorough investigation. They, along with other affected families, are preparing legal claims against AstraZeneca.
Expressing concern at the pressure placed on young individuals to get vaccinated, Alex’s parents emphasized the need for acknowledgment and admission from both the government and AstraZeneca regarding vaccine-related deaths and injuries. They lamented the lack of support and information about the serious risks associated with the vaccine, emphasizing the perceived prioritization of speed over safety during the rollout.
AstraZeneca defended its vaccine’s safety profile, emphasizing regulatory approval and the benefits of vaccination. Families pursuing legal action have initiated a crowdfunding campaign to support litigation costs. The Department of Health and Social Care expressed commitment to learning from the pandemic’s lessons and considering recommendations from the Covid-19 Inquiry.
This heart-wrenching story sheds light on the complexities surrounding vaccine distribution, safety, and the profound impact on individuals and their families.
Our consultant and inquest specialist, Ruth Bundey, represented Alex’s family at the inquest.
Added anguish for the family was caused by the terrible delay by Alex’s surgery and NHS England in providing accurate information to the Coroner.