'Healthy' Sevenoaks doctor, 32, died after rare severe reaction to AstraZeneca Covid jab

Dr Stephen Wright died as a result of the 'unintended consequences of vaccination' a coroner has ruled. Credit: PA

A "fit and healthy" doctor died of "unintended consequences of vaccination" after a rare reaction to the AstraZeneca Covid jab, a coroner has ruled.

As an NHS clinical psychologist and frontline health worker, Dr Stephen Wright, from Sevenoaks, Kent, was among the earliest groups of people to be given the vaccine during the pandemic.

The 32-year-old died 10 days later.

A small group of people, Dr Wright included, have had a severe reaction to the jab and health authorities are investigating, an inquest at London’s Southwark Coroner’s Court heard.

Dr Wright suffered from a combination of a brainstem infarction, a bleed on the brain and "vaccine-induced thrombosis".

He was taken to Princess Royal University Hospital in Orpington and moved to King’s College Hospital as his condition rapidly worsened, but the nature of the bleed meant he was unfit for surgery.

Dr Wright, 32, suffered a blood clot to the brain after receiving the vaccine. Credit: PA

Coroner Andrew Harris described a "very unusual and deeply tragic case".

Regarding the official documents detailing Dr Wright’s death, Mr Harris said: "It is very important to record as fact that it is the AstraZeneca vaccine – but that is different from blaming AstraZeneca."

He added: "Dr Wright was a fit and healthy man who had the AstraZeneca vaccine on 16 January 2021, awoke with a headache on 25 January and later developed left arm numbness.

"He attended an A&E department just after midnight where was found to have high blood pressure and a sagittal sinus thrombosis.

"He was transferred to King’s College Hospital at 6.39am but, due to the extent of the bleed and very low platelets, was unfit for surgery."

Charlotte Wright outside Southwark Coroner's Court, London following the inquest into death of her husband. Credit: PA

Dr Wright’s widow Charlotte is considering taking legal action against AstraZeneca.

After the inquest, she said: "It was made clear that Stephen was fit and healthy and that his death was by vaccination of AstraZeneca.

"For us, it allows us to be able to continue our litigation against AstraZeneca. This is the written proof."

Work is underway to try and understand why severe reactions to the jabs can happen, the inquest was told.

Dr Howard said experts were not aware of the vaccine’s possible deadly side effects as Dr Wright’s case happened early in the rollout. Credit: PA

Mr Harris said: "My understanding is that this condition is rare. Causes are being examined by the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency).

"It seems to me that there is not an action one can take at the moment. It is being looked at and there are reports being given to the Government from the MHRA and there is advice on the matter."

Medical experts told the court nothing could be done to save Dr Wright as his condition quickly worsened.

Earlier, consultant neurosurgeon Francesco Vergani said platelets provide the body’s first response to try and stop bleeding and are important for clotting.

He said: "There was nothing that could have been done to have a successful operation. When you have someone with critically low platelets who is bleeding in the brain, the surgery is a disaster."

Dr Mark Howard, a consultant pathologist and medical examiner at King’s College Hospital, said scientists and medical experts were not aware of the vaccine’s possible deadly side effects because Dr Wright’s case happened so early in its rollout.

He said: "Stephen was a very fit, young and healthy man in January 2021. It is a truly tragic and very rare complication of a well-meant vaccination.

"We had no knowledge that this was a potential side effect at this time. It’s not fully understood why this happens.

"It’s an idiosyncratic reaction. The circumstances arise in a very small number of people.

"There was no way of knowing that Stephen would have this consequence. It was a rare and unintended consequence."

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