The husband of a woman who died as a result of a new syndrome arising from an adverse reaction to a Covid-19 vaccine has said he felt “stonewalled” by British public health officials when he raised his concerns about the jab.
Mother-of-two Michelle Barlow, who was 51 and who lived near Greater Manchester, died 16 days after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, after developing a rare ‘unsurvivable’ blood clot.
Timothy Brennand, senior coroner for Greater Manchester West, ruled that Ms Barlow had died as a result of developing a new syndrome – vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) – which is only now emerging in the medical literature as a rare but potentially fatal complication to AstraZeneca and the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
“The deceased died as the consequences of the unrecognised, rare complications of a recently administered elective and necessary Covid-19 vaccination,” he said.
She suffered multiple organ failure caused by blood clots as a result of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) – a condition not recognised at the time of her death, the inquest was told.
The Coroner’s Court heard that while doctors noted Ms Barlow’s recent vaccination, and were aware that information about adverse reactions in some patients were emerging, they persisted with a diagnosis of a gastro infection, Bolton Coroner’s Court heard.
A recent study published in The Lancet found that within a short period, three scientific groups from Norway, Germany, and the UK reported thrombosis (blood clots blocking veins or arteries) following AstraZeneca–Oxford vaccination and “named this new syndrome vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT).”
Ms Barlow first presented at Wigan Infirmary on March 19 2021, but her husband claimed she was “fobbed off’. She returned a day later with increasingly severe symptoms and was admitted.
Doctors treated her for gastroenteritis and only after a CT scan on her lungs revealed a blood clot did they begin to suspect a possible adverse reaction to the Covid-19 vaccine.
The inquest heard there was a 12-hour delay in administering blood thinners to Ms Barlow.
Marius Paraoan, a surgeon at the hospital, said that after viewing the CT scan, he concluded that her condition was ‘unsurvivable’.
She died in the early hours of March 23.
Her husband Ian Barlow said: “I’ve had a close friend die of Covid, and now my wife has died from the vaccine”.
‘I’m not saying don’t get the vax, I’m saying check it out first, if it’s right for you,” he added.
“The Covid vaccine victims are forgotten heroes alongside the Covid victims because lessons have been learned.”
The coroner said there may have been some ‘sub-optimal care’ and ‘confirmation bias’ among medics in persisting with their initial wrong diagnosis of gastroenteritis.
Mr Brennand said he could not say whether Mrs Barlow would have lived if doctors had recognised sooner that the bad reaction to the vaccine was causing her illness.
Pathologist Dr Naveen Sharma told the inquest: ‘There’s no denying a small number of people with the AstraZeneca vaccine have gone on to develop blood clots.’
Dr Sharma said the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) had this produced guidance in November suggesting a possible link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and the ‘very rare’ side effect of blood clots.
Outside court Mrs Barlow’s husband, Ian, a retired factory worker, said he felt ‘relief’ that the vaccine’s role in her death had been recognised, the Daily Mail reported.
“He said the family felt stonewalled by public health officials when he raised his concerns about the vaccine,” the paper said.
The family are calling for a judicial review of the vaccine rollout.
The Lancet study found that VITT was first described in March, 2021 and that data on outcomes and natural history are therefore scarce. “In the initial publications on VITT from Norway and Germany, and Austria, the mortality associated with VITT was 60% and 55%, respectively,” they found, while “in the UK cohort of definite and probable cases, 23% of the patients died at the time of reporting”.