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Family of blood clot victim urge people to take AstraZeneca vaccine


Neil Astles, 59, died on Easter Sunday after suffering from 10 days of headaches and vision loss following his AstraZeneca vaccination

The family of a man who died from a blood clot after taking the AstraZeneca jab have urged the public to continue taking the vaccine.

Neil Astles, 59, a lawyer from Warrington, passed away on Easter Sunday following 10 days of vision loss and headaches.

Last night, his family said he was ‘extraordinarily unlucky’ but stressed the shots created by the University of Oxford were critical to ‘saving lives’.

‘Despite what has happened to our family, we strongly believe that everyone should go for their first and second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine,’ his sister, Dr Alison Astles, told the Daily Telegraph

‘Emotionally, we are completely and utterly furious. We are suffering. But there’s nothing in our minds to be really furious about. My brother was just extraordinarily unlucky.’ 

Boris Johnson sought to reassure the public yesterday after UK regulators said there was a possible link between the jab and ‘extremely rare’ blood clots.

He said: ‘These vaccines are safe, they’ve saved many thousands of lives and people should come forward to get their jabs and we’ll make sure that they get the right jabs.’

Out of around 20 million people inoculated with the jab so far, 79 have suffered clots and 19 have died. 

Boris Johnson said the ‘vaccines are safe’ during a visit to a holiday park in Cornwall yesterday (Picture: AFP/Getty)

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said the benefits still outweigh the risks overall.

While the regulators have not concluded the vaccine causes rare brain clots, it said the link is getting firmer.

They recommended people aged 18 to 29 should be offered the Pfizer, Moderna or other vaccines as the programme continues to rollout across the UK.

MHRA’s chief executive Dr June Raine said: ‘Based on the current evidence, the benefits of the Covid-19 vaccine AstraZeneca against Covid-19 and its associated risks – hospitalisation and death – continues to outweigh the risks for the vast majority of people.

‘Our review has reinforced that the risk of this rare suspected side effect remains extremely small.’

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