Public confidence is vital to the UK’s immunisation strategy. It won’t be helped by backbenchers questioning regulators’ advice
Neil Astles was only 59 when he died from a rare type of blood clot, which was this week linked to the Covid vaccine he had recently received. Like every death in this pandemic, this was one loss too many, and a tragedy for his family. But that’s what makes their bravery in coming forward now and urging others still to have the jab so compelling. Neil Astles’ sister, Dr Alison Astles, said the family were obviously suffering, but they recognised that her brother had been “extraordinarily unlucky”.
What they did not want, she explained, was for more people to die as a result of some panicking over whether the AstraZeneca jab was safe, and refusing vaccinations. As an academic specialising in pharmacy, Dr Astles is probably more used than most of us to weighing up medical risks. The challenge the government now faces, after Wednesday’s announcement that healthy under-30s should be offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine where possible, is getting the rest of us to see so clearly.