KEY POINTS

  • A CT scan revealed that Neil Astles had a bleed at the back of the brain 
  • His doctor said the blood clot was a side-effect of the vaccine
  • Doctors couldn't perform surgery as his condition quickly worsened

A 59-year-old lawyer died after suffering from bad headaches and nausea following a first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. He was diagnosed with a blood clot on his brain.

Neil Astles, a resident of Newton-Le-Willows, received the first dose of the vaccine on March 15 but began suffering from a “thunderclap headache” 11 days later, an inquest held at a U.K. Court heard. Astles started vomiting on April 2 and died two days later of cerebral thrombosis, Echo reported.

Dr. Lawrence McCrossen, an intensive care consultant, told the court how the patient's condition deteriorated rapidly. A CT scan revealed that a bleed at the back of the brain had "worsened."

Though his doctors contemplated performing surgery on Astles to relieve the pressure that had built up in his skull, it was not carried out because his condition had deteriorated too much, the report said.

Dr. McCrossen told the coroner that the thrombosis and clotting the patient suffered were side-effects of the vaccine. "The headaches were from the thrombosis and pressure in the brain." The doctor added that the medical team was faced with a dilemma as to how to treat Astles.

"We had to get the balance. There was the risk of him bleeding to death in an operation. After the second pupil had gone (dilated) we were not going to get him back," he added.

Astles' wife Carole told the court that the vaccine never even entered their minds because it was nine days after that he developed headaches. She said her husband had been fit and healthy before the jab. "It's just not fair," she added.

The court also heard that 424 cases similar to Astles, associated with the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, were reported till Oct. 27. Of these, 72 had been fatal.

"The adverse reaction suffered by Neil Astles remains extremely rare, and on the evidence available the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine outweigh the risks for the majority of people," the judge said during the inquest. 

His cause of death was recorded as intracerebral hemorrhage, central venous sinus thrombosis, and the COVID-19 vaccine.

The court also thanked the victim's family for advocating for the vaccine despite the death of their loved one. 

AstraZeneca produces its vaccine in Thailand for use domestically and in neighbouring countries Representation. Photo: AFP / Madaree TOHLALA