BBC presenter Lisa Shaw died of Covid vaccine complications, coroner finds
An award-winning BBC radio presenter died as a result of complications from the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, a coroner has concluded.
Lisa Shaw, who worked for BBC Radio Newcastle, died at the city’s Royal Victoria Infirmary in May, a little more than three weeks after her first dose of the vaccine developed by academics at the University of Oxford.
The inquest heard that Shaw, 44, had been admitted to hospital after doctors investigating her complaints of headaches found she had suffered a brain haemorrhage.
Karen Dilks, the senior coroner for Newcastle, gave a narrative conclusion. “Lisa died due to complications of an AstraZeneca Covid vaccine,” she said.
Shaw, who was referred to by her married name, Lisa Eve, during the hearing, started complaining of headaches a few days after her vaccination. She eventually visited a hospital A&E department in Durham, where she was diagnosed with a blood clot.
She was transferred to the Royal Victoria Infirmary where she received a number of treatments, including cutting away part of her skull to relieve the pressure on her brain, but despite those efforts she died on 21 May.
Her husband, Gareth Eve, attended the inquest with other members of the family.
Tuomo Polvikoski, a pathologist, told the coroner Shaw was fit and healthy before receiving the vaccine. Asked about the underlying cause of the fatal clotting on her brain, he said the clinical evidence “strongly supports the idea that it was, indeed, vaccine induced”.
“Based on available clinical information, it seems to be the most likely explanation,” he said.
Shaw’s death came weeks after the UK’s vaccine advisory panel restricted use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to the over-40s, after rare reports of recipients developing unusual blood clots with low platelets. A number of other countries imposed similar restrictions or suspended use of the vaccine entirely.
Deaths linked to the clots are even rarer. There have been 72 deaths in the UK after 24.8 million first doses and 23.9 million second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Dr Alison Cave, the chief safety officer with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency which approves vaccines for use in the UK, said the benefits of Covid jabs outweighed the risks and urged people to come forward for vaccination if they are eligible. She said: “Lisa Shaw’s death is tragic and our thoughts are with her family.
“As with any serious suspected side effects, reports of fatalities are evaluated by us, including an assessment of post-mortem details if available. We will be reviewing the coroner’s verdict.”
The family issued a statement, which read: “This is another difficult day in what has been a devastating time for us. The death of our beloved Lisa has left a terrible void in our family and in our lives.
“She truly was the most wonderful wife, mum, daughter, sister and friend. We have said all we want to say in public at this time and ask to be left alone to grieve and rebuild our lives in private. Thank you.”