Widower of BBC presenter pays tribute after death following jab

The husband of BBC presenter Lisa Shaw has paid an emotional tribute two months on from her death after having a coronavirus vaccine.

“She was my best friend,” Gareth Eve told BBC News on Thursday. “A fantastic mammy, daughter and sister.”

Shaw, 44, was a radio presenter for BBC Newcastle. She died on 21 May after suffering blood clots after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, her family said.

An official cause of death has yet to be determined, though “complication of AstraZeneca COVID-19 virus vaccination” was listed as a consideration on an interim fact-of-death certificate.

According to the government's latest "yellow card" statistics, 46.1 million AstraZeneca doses had been administered in the UK as of 30 June, with 399 reports of blood clots and 71 deaths.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said it is "deeply saddened" by her death.

Eve recalled the moment Shaw walked out of the front door of their home to get in an ambulance, having suffered major headaches.

“One of the most heartbreaking things about that episode was the fact she got in the ambulance not really knowing what was going on, not really understanding the severity of things.”

Lisa Shaw
Lisa Shaw

He said she was transferred to a high-dependency unit at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle, when a brain bleed was discovered.

“She told me to go home and see our son, because it was late. She said ‘I’m tired’. I gave her a kiss, and I never spoke to her again.”

Asked how she will be remembered, Eve said: “Lisa was always smiling. So kind. She was my best friend. A fantastic mammy, daughter and sister. She was excellent broadcaster. She’d do anything for anybody.

“And she was just doing the right thing [having the vaccine], it’s all she was doing.”

Eve said she was “quite positive” about having the jab and was looking forward to hugging family members again.

He called for people to be given a choice in what vaccine they are given.

On 7 April, it was announced under-30s would be offered alternatives to the AstraZeneca jab due to evidence linking it to very rare blood clots. This was extended to under-40s on 7 May.

No vaccine or medicine is 100% safe. England's deputy chief medical officer Prof Jonathan Van-Tam highlighted this at a Downing Street press conference in March by reading out the various possible side effects of taking a paracetamol tablet.

The MHRA has said the benefits of having a jab against Covid, which has caused nearly 130,000 deaths in the UK, outweigh the risks. It is estimated vaccines have prevented 27,000 Covid deaths.