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10 Nov 21 Back to Listing

Jonathan Dixey acts for the MHRA in inquest arising from COVID-19 vaccine

Jonathan Dixey appeared on behalf of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the inquest into the death of Neil Astles.

Mr Astles, who was 59 years old, died in April 2021, 18 days after receiving a first dose of the COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine. Mr Astles developed an intracerebral haemorrhage and cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) with concurrent thrombocytopenia.

The Senior Coroner for Sefton, Knowsley and St Helens heard evidence from Mr Astles’ treating clinicians and from a witness from the MHRA. The Coroner heard that shortly after Mr Astles’ death the MHRA announced that a link between the occurrence of serious blood clots with lowered platelets and the AstraZeneca vaccine was considered reasonably plausible. However deaths from such adverse reactions to the COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine are extremely rare.

As of 27 October 2021 the MHRA had received 424 reports of suspected thromboembolic events with concurrent thrombocytopenia, of which 72 were fatal, following administration of the COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine. To date, approximately 24 million first doses of the COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered in the UK. The Coroner also heard that the potential benefit of one dose of the vaccine is an 80% reduction in deaths, hospitalisation and intensive care.

Mr Astles’ family reiterated their view that it remained important for members of the public to get their COVID-19 vaccinations.

See BBC, Manchester Evening News and Daily Mail reports.