Legal action 'only option' for husband of BBC presenter Lisa Shaw who died after Covid vaccine

04.04.23 Gareth Eve and Lisa Shaw Credit: Gareth Eve
Gareth Eve lost his wife Lisa at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle on 21 May 2021. Credit: Family photo.

The husband of a BBC presenter who died due to complications from the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine has said taking legal action is his "only option."

Lisa Shaw, 44, who worked for BBC Radio Newcastle, died in May 2021 a week after her first jab.

In 2021 a coroner ruled that Mrs Shaw had died from complications as a result of the AstraZeneca vaccine, calling it a very rare "vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia" - a condition which leads to swelling and bleeding of the brain.

Her husband, Gareth Eve, said on ITV's Good Morning Britain on Tuesday 25 April that he has not had any meaningful answers from the pharmaceutical company or the Government as to why his wife died. 

"To this day, two years on we don’t know why the vaccination did what it did to Lisa. I don't know what it was about Lisa or the vaccination that made it react that way" he said.

Mr Eve has received £120,000 in compensation through the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme. When asked by host Susanna Reid if the money had helped, Mr Eve replied: “What do you think? How could you put a price on your wife’s life?”

He said that what all he wanted was an explanation for his wife's death, “I’ve had zero response from three Prime Ministers when I’ve asked what’s going on.”

"I’d like to know why certain decisions were made. I’m aware that in early 2021, countries around Europe had to suspend the Astrazeneca vaccination but the UK continued to give it."

Lisa's last show was three weeks prior to the day she died in May. Credit: BBC Newcastle

Mr Eve is among a group of families who lost loved ones, allegedly to side effects caused by the vaccine.

Lawyers for the group sent the AstraZeneca pre-action protocol letters in November 2022 - the first step in a legal claim on behalf of about 75 claimants. 

The claimants are taking legal action under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 as well as claiming payment under the government's Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme.

Joining Mr Eve on Good Morning Britain, Dr Hilary Jones said: “Gareth absolutely deserves answers and engagement… That’s the minimum he should demand and deserve.”

“The payment scheme desperately needs reform because it’s totally inadequate,” Dr Jones added.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was the first approved for use in the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 - with the government ordering 100 million doses for its vaccination programme.

A spokesperson for the Department for Health and Social Care said: "More than 144 million Covid vaccines have been given in England, which has helped the country to live with Covid and saved thousands of lives.

"All vaccines being used in the UK have undergone robust clinical trials and have met the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency's (MHRA) strict standards of safety, effectiveness and quality."

A spokesperson for AstraZeneca said: "Patient safety is our highest priority and regulatory authorities have clear and stringent standards to ensure the safe use of all medicines, including vaccines. Our sympathy goes out to anyone who has reported health problems." 

It added evidence from clinical trials and data showed the Covid vaccine had "an acceptable safety profile" and that the benefits "outweigh the risks of extremely rare potential side effects."

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