Rock musician, 48, died of a brain haemorrhage just two weeks after he had AstraZeneca vaccine as doctors link rare complications caused by jab
- The musician, known as 'Zion' died at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary
- He had the jab two weeks before at Penrith Auction Auction Mart, Cumbria
- He suffered an 'agonising' headache and seizure before going into hospital
- His fiancée Vikki Spit, 38, has spoken out about need for side effect awareness
By Alexander Butler For Mailonline
Published: | Updated:
A 48-year-old rock musician died of a brain haemorrhage just weeks after getting the AstraZeneca vaccine due to 'rare complications' caused by the jab, according to doctors.
The musician, named only as 'Zion', fell ill with an excruciating headache eight days after he received the AstraZeneca vaccine at Penrith Auction Mart, Cumbria, May 5.
He died from an irreversible brain injury caused by a haemorrhage, due to 'complications of a Covid-19 virus vaccine' atNewcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary six days later on May 19.
His fiancée Vikki Spit, 38, said her life has been 'smashed into a million pieces' by his sudden death.
Zion (above) played in a rock band and was said to always 'make things better in any little way he could'
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She added: 'We knew that younger people weren't getting the AztraZeneca vaccine but he wasn't in that age group so we didn't think anything of it.
'It was all good, he'd done his bit, he was keeping people safe.'
Zion had no side effects for the first week, but after eight days he started suffering an agonising headache.
On May 15 Ms Spit phoned an ambulance when he didn't get out of bed.
Ms Spit said: 'The first responder took all the information and she thought it was relevant he had had the vaccine but the paramedic said it was too long ago and they came to the conclusion he had a migraine.'
She called paramedics again two days later when Zion started slurring his words, before suffering a seizure.
He had another seizure while ambulance staff were there and was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle.
The couple met in a London rock club and toured for many years as glam punk band SPiT LiKE THiS before settling down to a peaceful rural life in Alston, near the Northumberland-Cumbria border, in 2014.
Ms Spit took a photo of Zion (pictured) on what would be their last walk together, where he can be seen carrying rubbish that people had thrown on to the verge
Ms Spit said: 'I couldn't go with him so I gave him a kiss and a hug and told him I'd see him soon. I hope he understood that.
'I thought he had had a stroke and he was going to be okay - he was extremely fit and healthy.
'I was doing things like getting my provisional driving licence so I could get us to and from town while I was looking after him.'
Hours later, she said, 'The neurosurgeon rang me and said they'd had to remove a massive piece of skull because the pressure on his brain was enormous.
'They said they'd never seen anything like it - they didn't expect him to wake up, and if he did he'd be in a vegetative state.
'And they said they thought it was caused by the AstraZeneca vaccine.'
An inquest will be held into Zion's death, but a preliminary death certificate cites an irreversible brain injury caused by a haemorrhage, in turn caused by 'complications of a Covid-19 virus vaccine'.
Ms Spit has been left 'completely crushed' by the loss and although she says she is still 'pro-vaccine,' is calling on the Government to better educate medical staff on the side effects.
She is also calling for ministers to rework the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme after learning that she will not receive compensation unless she can prove that Zion was '60 per cent disabled' before he died.
Since his death, Zion has helped save three lives by donating his liver and kidneys for transplant, as well as donating other organs for medical research.
Reeling from the loss of her fiancée, Ms Spit said: 'I don't know what to do with myself.
'I feel like my whole life's been smashed into a million pieces and I've got to put it together, but it's not going to look anything like I thought.
'I thought I was going to be with Zion for another 40 years.'
CURRENT COVID-19 VACCINES
Three main types of vaccines have so far been used in the fight against Covid-19 around the world, but more are in trials and under development.
ADENOVIRUS VECTOR VACCINES
This type includes AstraZeneca, and uses a modified adenovirus to deliver DNA coded with a SARS‑CoV‑2 protein to spark the body's immune system into action. A similar mechanism is also used in the Russian Sputnik Vand ChineseConvidecia vaccines which have been rolled out in China, Russia, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Moldova, Belarus, Hungary, Serbia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates. The US-made Johnson & Johnsonjab is also the same type but was initially only a single-dose vaccine, until US authorities recommended a second booster shot in October 2021.
The two other vaccines currently approved in Australia - Pfizer and Moderna- both use this platform to deliver Covid-19 immunity. Both contain RNA or messenger RNA in a drop of fat which then causes some cells to develop a harmless version of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to kickstart the body's resistance to the disease. Side effects are very rare but the vaccine needs to be stored at a very low temperature, which causes distribution challenges, especially in third world countries. A freeze-dried version is currently under development which would not need to be kept cold. It has been approved and used throughout the world except for a handful of countries including Russia and China.
INACTIVATED VIRUS VACCINES
These are more traditional forms of vaccines which take laboratory-cultivated Covid-19 virus particles and kill them with heat or formaldehyde but still retain the proteins needed to create an immune response when injected. It is the same type of technology that was used in the 19th and 20th century against cholera, plague, typhoid and rabies. It's the mechanism behind the Chinese CoronaVac/Sinovac, BIBP and WIBP vaccines, India's Covaxin, Russia's Covivac,Kazakhstani QazVac, and Iran'sCOVIran Barekat.
Often known as protein vaccines, this a controversial new technology which just uses a small piece of protein to create the immune response. Critics claim the proteins may be too small to be recognised by the human immune system. The vaccines are largely still in testing, but Russia has authorised its EpiVacCorona for use, along with Turkmenistan. China, Uzbekistan, Indonesia and Malaysia are also using a Chinese version, ZF2001. The US-producedCovovaxhas been undergoing trials in Australia, Mexico and India and has been authorised in Indonesia and the Philippines.
These nasal spray vaccines are the holy grail against Covid - easy to distribute and easy to use, with no needle fear. So far there are no nasal spray vaccines for Covid-19, but there is one for the flu - brand-nameFluMist in the US and FluEnzin Europe - which may see a Covid version developed eventually.
New technologies that are being developed that could be used in the fight against Covid include virus-like particles, which mimic the virus without including any virus material, DNA vaccines which uses genetically modified cells to re-write the body's blueprint to fight the disease, lentivirus vaccines which inject new genes into the body to make it immune, conjugate vaccines which is a two-pronged varied of protein vaccines, and using a harmless variant of the rabies virusvesicular stomatitist - currently used as a 'trojan horse virus' to help fight AIDS - which also carries the Covid-19 spike protein.
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