Get vaccinated, says sister of blood clot victim

Neil Astles died on Sunday (April 4) after having the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on March 17.

His sister, Dr. Alison Astles, told the BBC how her brother began to have a headache and felt unwell after a week before losing his vision eight days later.

She said her brother was taken to hospital on April 2 , where doctors found a "huge blood clot and bleed" on his brain.

While a full autopsy report is yet to be completed, Dr Astles, a pharmacist, said the family were told by clinicians they were 99.9% sure the clot was due to the vaccine.

Video Transcript

- He had the back seat on the 17th. And probably about a week or so later, he started getting headaches, which didn't go away. And he started feeling sick as well, which, again, this didn't go away. And after about eight days of this, he got to the stage where he was starting to lose his vision. And my older brother took him to [? A & E ?] on Friday night. And a scan there revealed a huge blood clot and break and bleed in his brain. So he was transferred over to ICU where, unfortunately, he died on Sunday evening.

The coroner is still preparing the report on this. So we're awaiting that, but we were told by the clinicians at the time-- he was superb with us, I have to say-- that they were 99.9% sure this was due to the COVID vaccine. I think the picture is very complicated because as a pharmacist myself, I understand about pharmacovigilance processes. I understand about the work of the NHRA. But the human being, the sister, in me still feels absolutely furious and very angry that this has happened to my brother.

But despite what has happened to Neil and the impact on our family, I still strongly believe that people should go ahead and have the vaccine. If you've had one dose, go ahead and have your second. If you haven't had your dose yet, make sure that you do. Because, overall, we will save more lives by people having the vaccine than not. So the risk of clot is very, very small. And my brother was extraordinarily unlucky. But even given the situation our family's in, I would strongly encourage everybody to go ahead and have a vaccine.