Lisa Shaw death: did BBC radio presenter die because of Covid vaccine complications from AstraZeneca jab?

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The coroner concluded that the death of the 44-year-old broadcaster was “due to complications of an AstraZeneca Covid Vaccine”

Lisa Shaw , a BBC Radio Newcastle presenter, passed away on Friday 21 May after receiving her AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. A coroner has recently ruled that she died due to complications from her jab.

This is what you need to know.

What happened?

The award winning presenter passed away at age 44 (Photo: PA/Family Handout)The award winning presenter passed away at age 44 (Photo: PA/Family Handout)
The award winning presenter passed away at age 44 (Photo: PA/Family Handout)

After receiving her AstraZeneca vaccine, Shaw suffered from severe headaches a week later, and then fell seriously ill.

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In a statement released by the BBC, Shaw’s family said: “Lisa developed severe headaches a week after receiving her AstraZeneca vaccine and fell seriously ill a few days later.

“She was treated by the Royal Victoria Infirmary’s intensive care team for blood clots and bleeding in her head. Tragically, she passed away, surrounded by her family, on Friday afternoon.

“We are devastated and there is a Lisa-shaped hole in our lives that can never be filled. We will love and miss her always.

“It has been a huge comfort to see how loved she was by everyone whose lives she touched, and we ask for privacy at this time to allow us to grieve as a family.”

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What did the coroner say?

The inquest heard that, despite treatments including cutting away part of her skull to relieve pressure, nothing further could be done and Shaw died on 21 May.

At the end of a hearing, which lasted less than an hour, Newcastle senior coroner Karen Dilks gave a narrative conclusion, which said: “Lisa died due to complications of an AstraZeneca Covid vaccine.”

Earlier, pathologist Tuomo Polvikoski told the coroner that Shaw was fit and healthy before receiving the vaccination.

Asked about the underlying cause of the fatal clotting on her brain, Dr Polvikoski said the clinical evidence “strongly supports the idea that it was, indeed, vaccine-induced”.

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The pathologist added: “Based on available clinical information, it seems to be the most likely explanation.”

The coroner said: “On April 29 2021, she had a first doze of the AstraZeneca vaccine and, following that, she developed a vaccine-induced thrombosis and thrombocytopenia – a rare and aggressive complication associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was the underlying cause of her death.”

The inquest heard that Shaw went to the University Hospital of North Durham on May 13 after complaining of a severe headache, including shooting pains across her forehead and behind her eyes. The coroner said Ms Shaw had previously complained about pain all over her head.

After a CT scan revealed a venous sinus thrombosis, a decision was taken to transfer her to the Royal Victoria, the hearing was told.

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Dr Christopher Johnson, a consultant in anaesthetics and intensive care at the hospital, told the inquest at Newcastle Coroner’s Court, that Shaw was initially treated with anti-coagulants but an operation was undertaken to relieve the pressure on her brain after bleeding was detected.

But Dr Johnson said the surgery could not help with the underlying cause of the haemorrhage and the risks were too great to try to remove the clot “manually”.

The consultant said Shaw’s treatment was determined in consultation with a national panel of experts which convened daily.

“This was one of the first cases of this kind of vaccine-induced immune thrombocytopenia and thrombosis I had seen and had been seen nationally,” he said.

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Asked whether his team were of the view that the “underlying cause of the events that tragically affected Lisa was complications of the AstraZeneca vaccine”, Dr Johnson said: “We were, yes.”

Asked by the coroner if the team at the Royal Victoria had reviewed their care of Shaw, the consultant said the treatments given and the sequences of treatments was now nationally recognised practice.

He added: “I do not think there was anything anyone could have done differently. If we had the same presentation tomorrow, we would do the same.”

What has her family said?

Shaw’s husband, Gareth Eve, attended the inquest with other members of the family.

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They issued a statement, which said: “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.”

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What has the Government said?

A Government spokesperson said: “We were deeply saddened to hear about the death of Ms Shaw and our thoughts are with her family and loved ones.

“As the UK’s independent medicines regulator, the MHRA, and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation have said, for the vast majority of people, the benefits of preventing serious illness and death outweigh any risks and the vaccines have saved over 100,000 lives.

“People will be offered a vaccine that is most suitable for them. For example, everyone under the age of 40 will be offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine, as advised by the JCVI.

“Those who have already had a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine should receive a second dose of the same brand, irrespective of age, except for the very small number of people who experienced blood clots with low platelet counts from their first vaccination.”

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Who was Lisa Shaw?

Shaw was an award winning BBC radio presenter, and was 44 when she passed away.

She lived and worked in the North East for the majority of her life, except for when she went to Bournemouth University to pursue her degree in Multimedia Journalism.

After completing university, Shaw returned to the North East and began working as a broadcast journalist and newsreader on Metro Radio.

From there, Shaw bagged a breakfast gig on Real Radio and Heart. She picked up a Song Gold Radio Academy Award for Best Breakfast Show in Britain in 2012, alongside her former co-host Gary Philipson, for their show on Real Radio.

Shaw joined BBC Radio Newcastle’s day time team in 2016.

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A statement from BBC Radio Newcastle after Shaw’s death said: “We are so sorry and saddened to share with you that after a short illness our beautiful colleague Lisa Shaw has died.

“Everyone at the station is devastated and thinking about Lisa’s lovely family. She was a brilliant presenter, a wonderful friend and a loving wife and mum.”

Additionally, Shaw enjoyed success in commercial radio working as a voice-over artist, and she also had a weekly column in the Sunday Sun.

Shaw is survived by her husband, Gareth Eve, and their two sons.

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