Dad who suffered brain injury days after getting COVID vaccine sues AstraZeneca | UK News

A dad who suffered a brain injury just days after receiving a British-developed COVID vaccine has told Sky News he would never have had the jab if he had known of the risk of rare but serious side effects.

Jamie Scott, who has two young boys and is now unable to work, is suing AstraZeneca for what he says is damage caused by the jab in April 2021.

He alleges the pharmaceutical giant exaggerated the vaccine’s effectiveness and downplayed its risks.

AstraZeneca denies the claims made against them.

In his first TV interview, Mr Scott told Sky News: “I took it to protect the elderly people around me.

“AstraZeneca and the government need to explain the risk whenever you take medicine. If there’s a risk – I’ve got a young family – I would never have taken it.”

Ten days after having his first dose of the vaccine, Mr Scott woke up with a severe headache, started vomiting and had trouble speaking.

He was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with a clot that was stopping blood draining from his brain, as well as a haemorrhage in the brain itself.

He had surgery and was in a coma for just over a month. His wife Kate was told that if he survived he would never be the same again.

Kate Scott
Kate Scott

Mr Scott now has a poor memory, has trouble reading, writing, listening and speaking, is partially blind in both eyes and suffers from pain and fatigue.

He says he can’t drive or play an active part in his boys’ lives.

“Everything about me has changed. Everything is difficult,” he said.

“I am happy to be alive. But I’m a shadow of what I was and every day is difficult.”

There are 51 cases lodged with the High Court with people claiming damage as a result of vaccination. Some are bereaved relatives.

Vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine. File pic: PA
Vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine. File pic: PA

Mr Scott was given a payout of £120,000 from the government’s Vaccine Damage Payment (VDP) scheme.

But that comes nowhere near to replacing the career income he would have received as an IT professional.

“If Jamie was in a car crash there would have been insurance to cover the injuries and loss of income,” said Mrs Scott.

“We should not have to lose our house, or not be able to afford to fix our cooker when it breaks down or not be able to take the kids on holiday.

“If VDP was reformed, we would not have to litigate.”

To be given the full £120,000 payout from the vaccine damage scheme claimants have to be assessed as at least 60% disabled. Those with a lower degree of disability – which can still be life-changing – don’t qualify.

The AstraZeneca vaccine was developed by scientists at the University of Oxford. It went through accelerated testing and licensing because of the urgency of the pandemic and was authorised for emergency supply in December 2020.

Jamie Scott
Jamie Scott

The government and many doctors assured the public that the vaccine was safe and urged people to take the jab.

But in the spring of 2021, there were reports around Europe of people suffering unusual blood clotting several days after vaccination.

Sarah Moore, a lawyer at Leigh Day Solicitors who is representing Mr Scott and the other claimants, told Sky News: “As early as the beginning of March in 2021, other European countries had withdrawn or suspended this product from the market because they had seen this problem.

“Our argument is that on the date upon which Jamie’s vaccine was applied, there was no warning.

“Now, if you are going to take a healthy person and give them any medical product, then generally most people would accept that has to be a warning within the product literature that specifies that risk, particularly when we’re talking about the gravity of risk in this context.”

Follow Sky News on WhatsApp
Follow Sky News on WhatsApp

Keep up with all the latest news from the UK and around the world by following Sky News

Tap here

AstraZeneca says it updated product information for the vaccine in April 2021 to reflect the possibility in very rare cases that it could be a trigger for thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome.

In a statement, it said: “Our sympathy goes out to anyone who has lost loved ones or reported health problems. Patient safety is our highest priority and regulatory authorities have clear and stringent standards to ensure the safe use of all medicines, including vaccines.

“From the body of evidence in clinical trials and real-world data, the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine has continuously been shown to have an acceptable safety profile and regulators around the world consistently state that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks of extremely rare potential side effects.”

Read more from Sky News:
Man admits killing mobility scooter rider

Humza Yousaf resigns as Scotland’s first minister

This is not anti-vax – it’s about being honest about medicines

There’s no question that what happened to Jamie Scott is an utter tragedy.

He had a great career, two boys and a loving wife. And when his invitation came for the COVID jab he seized the chance to protect his elderly relatives and do his bit to bring the pandemic to an end.

But that was the day that his life was up-ended, suffering what his lawyers say was a catastrophic reaction to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

He has been unable to work since, and probably never will. His wife Kate has given up her job to be his carer.

The Scotts argue that had he been in a car accident the insurers would have settled on a sum that reflected his likely career earnings and the amount of care he needed.

But he has been given just £120,000 from the government’s vaccine damage payment scheme. That’s the maximum payout.

It is a paltry sum when you are 44 – as he was at the time – with no other source of income and decades of life ahead of you.

Read Thomas Moore’s full analysis here

The Department of Health and Social Care said it doesn’t comment on ongoing litigation or specific cases.

It added that the AstraZeneca jab hasn’t been used in the UK since the start of the booster programme in the autumn of 2021 because alternative mRNA vaccines were shown to be more effective.

However, the vaccine has been widely used around the world. In the first year of use, more than two billion doses were given, saving an estimated six million lives.

At the time of the rollout – and since – there has been a vocal minority of people who campaigned against COVID vaccines.

But Mr and Mrs Scott say they are not anti-vaxxers.

Mrs Scott said: “I would say we are vaccine-hesitant now because if it goes wrong you are left out in the cold.

“There has to be protection for those people who did the right thing when the government said it was safe and effective, time and time again.

“Even now if you try and question that narrative you’re shut down and told that’s anti-vax – and it just can’t be.”