Mother-of-two, 35, claims she suffered a blood clot in her lungs weeks after AstraZeneca jab

A mother-of-two claims she suffered a blood clot in her lungs after having the first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine – and doctors have told her not to take the second jab.

Beckie Wilson, 35, from Stoke-on-Trent, had her first dose on March 11 but says she quickly began to experience a shortness of breath.

She went to see her GP and was initially put on a course of antibiotics, but when this didn’t work she was referred for blood tests and a CT scan.

And on Wednesday last week, Beckie says she received a phone call from the Royal Stoke University Hospital asking her to go to in immediately, where she says medics told her a blood clot was discovered in her lungs. 

Now the warehouse operative has been put on blood thinning medication and is off work for three weeks. 

Her comments come as the UK’s vaccine advisers this week recommended healthy Britons under-30s should be offered an alternative Covid vaccine to AstraZeneca due to the evidence of linking it to extremely rare clots.

A small number of other patients have reported similar problems, including Mohammed Choudhury, a fit and healthy 34-year-old, told this week how a freak reaction to the vaccine left him in intensive care, fearing for his life. 

And on Easter Sunday, lawyer Neil Astles, 59, became the UK’s first named victim after passing away following 10 days of severe headaches and a steady loss of vision.

However, his sister, Dr Alison Astles, a pharmacist at the University of Huddersfield, was keen to encourage people to continue taking up the jab and said: ‘My brother was just extraordinarily unlucky’. 

Beckie Wilson, 35, from Stoke-on-Trent, had her first dose on March 11 but says she quickly began to experience a shortness of breath

AstraZeneca jab may also be restricted for under-40s 

AstraZeneca‘s Covid vaccine may also be restricted for under-40s when Britain’s immunisation drive moves down to younger age groups, it was claimed today. 

Medical watchdogs will assess data on the jab’s links to extremely rare blood clots in ‘scrupulous detail’ in order to paint a clearer picture on the exact risk-benefit ratio.

They have already advised 18 to 29 year olds are given an alternative to the UK-made jab because their odds of falling seriously ill with Covid are so small that the benefits of AstraZeneca’s do not clearly outweigh the potential clot risks.

Analysis of the UK vaccine rollout has found that younger people appear more prone to clotting after vaccination but there is no set cut-off age. Experts told MailOnline there is a ‘gradual age gradient of risk’. 

Professor Jeremy Brown, a member of the JCVI, which advises No10 on jabs, told the Daily Telegraph: ‘We’re going to start vaccinating phase two healthy adults, starting with the 40 to 50-year-olds, and then we’ll go to the 30 to 40-year-olds.

‘When we are approaching that point we’ll need to think about this a little bit more to be absolutely sure at what point in that age cut-off – given the situation we are facing at that time, and any more data that comes through on this rare complication, because more data will come through – then that might alter the age range.’ 

Statisticians insist the risk of under-30s developing blood clots from AstraZeneca’s jab is so tiny that if Wembley stadium was filled with people in the age group, only one would be struck down. 

For older adults, the risk of blood clots is even smaller – but their risk of dying from Covid is much higher, meaning the risks versus benefits swings heavily in favour of vaccination.

The move to recommend under-30s get a different jab does not mean it is unsafe for young people, with neither the UK’s drug regulator or the EU’s ordering the jab to be banned for certain age groups. 

But both acknowledge cases of blood clots from the life-saving jab appear to be occurring slightly more often in younger adults.

 

Mother-of-two Beckie, from Burslem, said: ‘I went and had the vaccine through work. I couldn’t do much and I was getting out of breath just moving around.

‘I went to the doctors about a week later and was put on a course of antibiotics, but when this had no affect they sent me for blood tests and a CT scan at Royal Stoke.

‘The results from those came back last week and I received a phone call asking me to go in where the consultant was waiting for me.

‘I rushed there and the consultant told me I have got quite a few blood clots in my right lung.

‘It’s a really dangerous situation to be in. You can die from these blood clots.

‘The hospital has now put me on blood thinning tablets for three months to try to get rid of the clots and I’ve been told to stay off work. Without the blood thinning medication I’d probably be dead.

‘I’ve been referred to the respiratory clinic. I’ve then got to go back in three months for another CT scan to check the blood clots on my lung. Then we will go from there.’

It comes as it was claimed today the AstraZeneca jab may also be restricted for under-40s when Britain’s immunisation drive moves down to younger age groups. 

Medical watchdogs will assess data on the jab’s links to extremely rare blood clots in ‘scrupulous detail’ in order to paint a clearer picture on the exact risk-benefit ratio.

They have already advised 18 to 29 year olds are given an alternative to the UK-made jab because their odds of falling seriously ill with Covid are so small that the benefits of AstraZeneca’s do not clearly outweigh the potential clot risks.

Analysis of the UK vaccine rollout has found that younger people appear more prone to clotting after vaccination but there is no set cut-off age. Experts told MailOnline there is a ‘gradual age gradient of risk’. 

Professor Jeremy Brown, a member of the JCVI, which advises No10 on jabs, told the Daily Telegraph: ‘We’re going to start vaccinating phase two healthy adults, starting with the 40 to 50-year-olds, and then we’ll go to the 30 to 40-year-olds.

‘When we are approaching that point we’ll need to think about this a little bit more to be absolutely sure at what point in that age cut-off – given the situation we are facing at that time, and any more data that comes through on this rare complication, because more data will come through – then that might alter the age range.’   

But despite experts voicing concerns, the the British public still backs vaccine – as 75 per cent tell pollsters they consider it to be safe. 

While the results by YouGov show a drop of two percentage points since March, it ranks close to opinions of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine which 78 per cent dubbed safe, The Times reports.

Nearly two thirds of those aged 18 to 24 felt the vaccine was ok to use, while just 13 per cent of all people polled deemed the AstraZeneca jab unsafe.

Beckie says clinicians at the hospital informed her that blood clots usually form through prolonged sitting or after having an operation.

But as this did not apply to Beckie, she believes the likely explanation for the cause was the jab.

She says she has now been advised by her doctor not to have the second dose. 

Doctor Julie White (R) administers an injection of AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine to a patient at the vaccination centre set up at St Columba's church in Sheffield

Doctor Julie White (R) administers an injection of AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine to a patient at the vaccination centre set up at St Columba’s church in Sheffield

75% of Britons still consider AstraZeneca jab to be safe 

Britons still back the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine – as 75 per cent tell pollsters they consider it to be safe.

Officials have launched a campaign to maintain confidence in jabs after medical regulators advised that under-30s should be offered an alternative to the Oxford inoculation amid blood clot fears. 

And, as the Health Secretary looked to dispel concern by insisting that spotting rare side effects shows ‘the safety system’ is working, a poll revealed that 75 per cent of Britons think the vaccine is safe to use.

While the results by YouGov show a drop of two percentage points since March, it ranks close to opinions of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine which 78 per cent dubbed safe, The Times reports.

Nearly two thirds of those aged 18 to 24 felt the vaccine was ok to use, while just 13 per cent of all people polled deemed the AstraZeneca jab unsafe.

She said: ‘The hospital said the blood clots were caused by the vaccine.

‘They explained that you can get blood clots through not moving around or through having an operation, but other than that the only other thing was the vaccine.

‘The doctor has advised me not go for the second vaccine because it could lead to more blood clots. I’ve never had any issues with clots before.’

Beckie says she was not aware of the possible link and wishes there had been more awareness of the risk at the time of her jab.

She said: ‘I was looking forward to having this vaccine because I work as a warehouse operative where there have been quite a few cases of Covid-19 and I wanted to help keep everyone safe and get back to normal.

‘But now I’ve ended up with this. It’s had a big impact on my life. I get up to go to the kitchen to make a cup of tea and I’m getting out of breath.

‘I wish I hadn’t had the vaccine now. I didn’t know anything about blood clots possibly being linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

‘I’m angry about it. We were told that this vaccine was fine and that there were no issues but now new advice has come out.

‘There needed to be more awareness of the risk when I was having my jab.

‘Something that was supposed to keep me healthy has made me ill.’

The recommendation to stop using AstraZeneca in the under-30s came after a review by the UK drugs regulator found that, by the end of March, 79 people had suffered rare blood clots accompanied by low blood platelet count after vaccination – 19 of whom had died. 

The regulator said this was not proof the jab had caused the clots, but it said the link was getting firmer. The figures suggest the risk of dying from one of the clots following vaccination is about one in a million.

Dr June Raine, chief executive of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, said: ‘Over 37 million doses of vaccines against COVID-19 have now been administered in the UK, saving thousands of lives through the biggest vaccination programme that has ever taken place in the UK.

‘No effective medicine or vaccine is without risk. We continually monitor safety during widespread use of any vaccine. This is to ensure vaccines are performing as expected, to identify any new side effects that may arise, and to ensure the benefits continue to outweigh the risks.

‘The public’s safety is always at the forefront of our minds and we take every report of a suspected side effect very seriously indeed. 

‘We thoroughly analyse each and every report as we receive it and although the number of reports of CVST and other thromboembolic events has increased over the last week, so has the overall number of vaccinations administered, therefore these blood clots remain extremely rare and unlikely to occur.

‘We ask anyone who suspects they have experienced a side effect linked with their COVID-19 vaccine to report it to the Coronavirus Yellow Card website.

‘It is still vitally important that people come forward for their vaccination when invited to do so.’

Anyone who suffers symptoms such as a persistent headache, blurred vision or confusion for four days or more after vaccination or who experience unusual skin bruising, shortness of breath or chest pain are being asked to seek medical advice.