Mother, 43, suffers blood clots and dies after having Covid jab

‘Healthy’ mother-of-three, 43, dies after suffering blood clots days after having her AstraZeneca Covid jab

  • Mother-of-three Tanya Smith, 43, had first Covid AstraZeneca vaccine in March
  • She began suffering severe stomach cramps just days after receiving the jab
  • After going to hospital in Plymouth, doctors discovered multiple blood clots
  • The 43-year-old, who was described as healthy by her partner, died days later
  • An inquest and full investigation into the cause of her death are set to take place 

A mother of three suffered multiple blood clots and died in hospital just days after receiving the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine.

Childminder Tanya Smith, 43, had her first jab in March and died just over a week later after being rushed to hospital with severe stomach cramps.

An inquest is set to take place to determine the circumstances surrounding her death.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has also confirmed it will review Ms Smith’s case as part of an ongoing review into the occurrence of blood clots and any potential links to the vaccine.

Ms Smith’s partner Kenneth Edwards said she had felt ‘pretty rough’ for a couple of days after the jab and then woke one morning in pain and called 111 for help.

He said her suffering did not ease even after a paramedic attended and gave her painkillers and she was taken to Derriford Hospital where it was later found she had suffered multiple blood clots.

Pictured: Mother-of-three Tanya Smith, 43, (left centre) suffered blood clots and died in hospital in Plymouth days after receiving her first Covid AstraZeneca vaccine earlier this year

Tanya’s partner Kenneth Edwards (pictured) says Ms Smith was healthy before she got the jab

Sadly, Ms Smith soon suffered a heart attack and a cardiac arrest and after a short period of stability, her condition got ‘progressively worse’ before she tragically died in hospital on April 3.

Mr Edwards believes she would not have passed away if she hadn’t had the Covid-19 AstraZeneca vaccine, but this can not be confirmed until a full investigation and inquest into her death has taken place. 

He spoke out after reading about the death of BBC journalist Lisa Shaw who died after suffering blood clots following the AZ vaccine.

The European Medicines Agency says the benefits of the vaccine in combating the widespread threat of Covid-19 (which itself results in clotting problems and may be fatal) continue to outweigh the risk of side effects. 

Ms Smith suffered severe stomach cramps and was taken to hospital where they discovered she had multiple blood clots. She underwent surgery but her condition worsened and she died

British health chiefs last month recommended all under-40s are offered an alternative to AstraZeneca’s vaccine because of blood clot fears.

More than 330 cases of a rare clotting disorder have been spotted among 24.2million recipients of the jab — or around one in every 75,000 people. Fifty-eight patients have died.

But statisticians analysed the numbers and found rates were slightly higher among younger adults, with females appearing to be at most risk, too.

Cambridge academics estimated around 1.9 in every 100,000 twenty-somethings given AstraZeneca’s jab would suffer serious blood clots alongside abnormally low platelet levels (thrombocytopenia) — the specific disorder linked to the jab. For thirty-somethings the figure was 1.5.

They compared that against the average number of Covid intensive care admissions that would be prevented by giving that cohort the jab. And they then analysed the risk/benefit ratio in different scenarios, based entirely on how widespread the disease was at the time.

For example, only 0.2 ICU admissions would be prevented for every 100,000 twenty-somethings given the jab at prevalence levels seen in April (fewer than 30,000 infections per week). For adults in their thirties, the figure was around 0.8.

It showed, however, the benefits of giving AstraZeneca’s vaccine to 40-49 year olds outweighed the potential risk (1.7 prevented ICU admissions per 100,000 people compared to 1.2 blood clots).

But the decision to recommend under-40s are offered Pfizer or Moderna’s jab instead was basically only taken because the outbreak was squashed to extremely low levels, as well as the fact younger people are known to face tiny odds of falling seriously ill with coronavirus.

For older adults, who the disease poses a much greater threat to, the benefits of vaccination are clear, regulators insist. Jabs have already saved around 13,000 lives in England, top scientists believe.

However, because there were so few blood clots, it made it impossible for No10’s vaccine advisory panel to give an exact age cut-off. Instead, they were only able to analyse figures by decade.

The first clots to alarm people were ones appearing in veins near the brains of younger adults in a condition called CSVT (cerebral sinus venous thrombosis).

Since that, however, people have developed clots in other parts of their bodies and they are usually linked to low numbers of platelets, which is unusual because platelets are usually used by the immune system to build the clots.

In most cases people recover fully and the blockages are generally easy to treat if spotted early, but they can trigger strokes or heart or lung problems if unnoticed.

Symptoms depend entirely on where the clot is, with brain blockages causing excruitiating headaches. Clots in major arteries in the abdomen can cause persistent stomach pain, and ones in the leg can cause swelling of the limbs. 

Researchers in Germany believe the problem lies in the adenovirus vector — a common cold virus used so both vaccines can enter the body.

Academics investigating the issue say the complication is ‘completely absent’ in mRNA vaccines like Pfizer’s and Moderna’s because they have a different delivery mechanism.

Experts at Goethe-University of Frankfurt and Ulm University, in Helmholtz, say the AstraZeneca vaccine enters the nucleus of the cell – a blob of DNA in the middle. For comparison, the Pfizer jab enters the fluid around it that acts as a protein factory.

Bits of coronavirus proteins that get inside the nucleus can break up and the unusual fragments then get expelled out into the bloodstream, where they can trigger clotting in a tiny number of people, scientists claim.

Paying tribute to Tanya, Mr Edwards said: ‘She was just amazing, selfless, She was a childminder, a really good childminder for 19 years.

‘She leaves three children behind, two grown up children and a 12 year old little girl with disabilities. She was the only woman, apart from my mum, who really looked after me.

‘She loved her family, she was really family orientated and she’d go above and beyond. We’re all pretty lost without her. I’ve never experienced anything like this.’ 

He said she was ‘healthy and young-ish’ before the jab and had her first dose at Plymouth’s Home Park football ground in March after being contacted by her GP surgery to book a Covid-19 appointment.

An inquest will be held into her death later and part of that inquiry will look at an investigation being carried out by University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust which runs Derriford Hospital where she died.

Ms Smith was invited to have her jab early as she was a key worker and a carer for her daughter who has disabilities. 

Mr Edwards said by Good Friday – just over a week since the Covid jab – Tanya was ‘gravely poorly’ in hospital and she died a day later. 

After being taken to hospital, medics performed multiple ECGs over several hours and later phoned Mr Edwards to tell him Ms Smith had had a heart attack and a cardiac arrest.

After meeting doctors in the hospital, Mr Edwards said medics ‘didn’t understand’ how Ms Smith could have had a heart attack, and soon sent her down to theatre.

She was found to have blood clots in her arteries, which had caused the heart attack, Mr Edwards said, but her condition appeared to be improving shortly after surgery.

Doctors then noticed her platelet levels were ‘through the floor’ as her condition got progressively worse.

By Good Friday, just over a week since Ms Smith had had her vaccine, doctors told Mr Edwards that she was ‘gravely poorly but she’s a fighter’.

The following day, Mr Edwards and Ms Smith’s parents and children rushed to the hospital to see her before medics advised they went home to rest.

Sadly, Mr Edwards had a phone call from hospital staff just a few hours later and was advised to rush back to the hospital to see his wife.

On returning to the hospital, he was told he had ‘just missed’ his partner’s passing. 

Mr Edwards said Tanya was healthy but said: ‘I’m devastated by all this but people need to know.

‘The [BBC journalist Lisa Shaw’s] story struck a chord.

‘I know it’s a small percent [of people that have blood clots after the vaccine] but my partner was healthy. Within four days she had passed away.

‘She obviously had a reaction from the jab. She’d never suffered from blood clots. She was healthy before she had that jab.’

He said she had no underlying health problems apart from an abnormal heart rhythm and a ‘bit of’ irritable bowel syndrome.

NHS England declined to comment but the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), said: ‘We are saddened to hear of the death of Tanya Smith and our thoughts are with the family.

‘As with any serious suspected adverse reaction, reports with a fatal outcome are fully evaluated by the MHRA, including an assessment of post mortem details if available.

‘Our detailed and rigorous review into reports of blood clots occurring together with thrombocytopenia [low blood platelet count] is ongoing.’ 

The death has been reported to the coroner but no inquest has been opened and the cause of death is awaited, HM Coroners Office in Plymouth has confirmed.

Mr Edwards decided to speak out after hearing about the death of BBC journalist Lisa Shaw. 

Lisa Shaw, who worked for BBC Newcastle, developed ‘severe’ headaches a week after having the jab and fell seriously ill a few days later, relatives said in a statement.

Ms Shaw, 44, died at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle, having been treated in intensive care for blood clots and bleeding.

A fact-of-death certificate lists the vaccine as one of the possible factors, but document does not determine a cause of death.

Tragic loss: Lisa Shaw – an award-winning BBC radio presenter – died in hospital when she developed severe headaches and suffering blood clots after she received the AZ vaccine

It is expected that will only be released following an inquest into her death.

The presenter was not known to have any underlying health problems and her death came as a devastating shock to family and colleagues. 

More than 330 cases of a rare clotting disorder have been spotted among 24.2million recipients of the jab — or around one in every 75,000 people. Fifty-eight patients have died. 

The clots — which can occur in the brain — are happening alongside abnormally low platelet levels, known as thrombocytopenia.

Last month, health chiefs said all under-40s should be offered an alternative to AstraZeneca’s vaccine because of blood clot fears. 

Statisticians analysed the numbers and found rates were slightly higher among younger adults, with females appearing to be at most risk, too.

People under 40 in the UK are being offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine following reports of extremely rare blood clots on the brain coupled with low blood platelet count.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) had said the benefits of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine continue to outweigh risks for most people. It has not proven the vaccine causes the clots but has said the link is getting firmer.

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