Teen who died after receiving AstraZeneca vaccine ‘more convinced’ to take the jab after seeing severity of virus first-hand

An aspiring South Yorkshire paramedic who died days after receiving her first dose of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine did not hesitate to book the jab when it was offered, an inquest heard.
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Kasey Turner of Wentworth Road, Barnsley, was admitted to the intensive care unit at Barnsley Hospital at 6.14am on February 23, 2021 with an acute onset headache with a low platelet count and died at the hospital on February 27.

At an inquest held at Sheffield Coroner's Court on Wednesday, March 23, the family said Kasey, would have still gone for the vaccine if she knew the blood clotting risk associated with the vaccine.

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She said Kasey, who attended Teesside University in Middlesbrough, undertook practice placement shifts as a student paramedic since November 2020, one at Hartlepool Hospital and subsequently with Yorkshire Ambulance Service in December 2020.

Kasey died after receiving AstraZeneca vaccination on February 27, 2021.Kasey died after receiving AstraZeneca vaccination on February 27, 2021.
Kasey died after receiving AstraZeneca vaccination on February 27, 2021.

Her mum, Donna Turner, said in a statement read out by Assistant Coroner Tanyka Rawden, that she wished Kasey had waited for the vaccine rollout for her age group.

She said: "I understand the need of vaccines to protect oneself and others but looking back at hindsight, I wish the AstraZeneca vaccine was not offered to Kasey and that she had waited until it was rolled out to 18-year-olds nationwide.

"This would have meant that the awareness of the risk of blood clots associated with the vaccine would have been known and Kasey would not have had this particular vaccine due to the increased risk and it being withdrawn for people under 30.

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"I understand the need for all frontline workers but she was not on placement at the time as she was only on placement at certain periods. She was not dealing with patients and the risk to her was not great.

"If feel that if Kasey knew at the stage about the potential blood clotting risks, if was given the odds, she would have still gone ahead with the vaccine because the risk was so small."

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Aspiring South Yorkshire paramedic, 18, died after receiving AstraZeneca Covid v...

‘Kasey was more convinced to receive the jab after being infected with Covid’

AstraZeneca was first associated with the risk of blood clots accompanied by low platelet levels affecting the younger group of people, which health authorities described as 'extremely rare'.

The UK subsequently issued a guideline on April 7, 2021 that people under the age of 30 should be offered an alternative vaccine.

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However, the Government issued updated guidelines on May 7 that people under the age of 40 were to be offered an alternative to AstraZeneca vaccine as concerns over links to rare blood clots continued.

Kasey received her vaccination on February 13, 2021 as part of the Covid-19 immunisation programme for patient-facing operational staff at Spring Hill Vaccination Clinic in Wakefield, when the vaccine at the time was suitable for all adults over the age of 18.

Donna said having had Covid in October 2020 with the rest of her family, Kasey was more convinced to have the vaccine as she had seen how seriously the virus had affected others during her placement.

She said Kasey's death has changed the family's views on the vaccine and the safety of it, as Morgan, Kasey's twin sister also had the AstraZeneca vaccine when the link between the vaccine and the risk of clots was not known.

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The family then made the decision that Morgan would not have the second dose, but she went on had Pfizer vaccine in December last year.

‘Cheeky, loud and bubbly’

In a moving tribute by her mum as read out by Ms Rawden, she described Kasey as 'cheeky, loud, and bubbly' ever since she was little.

She said: "She would never shut up, constantly talking about any random rubbish just so she could talk. She was the biggest drama queen you could ever meet.

"Despite turning 18 during lockdown, she still managed several nights out when the pubs reopened. She was the life and soul of the party, she would light up every room she walked into.

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"She absolutely sounds like one of a kind and there will never be anyone else like her. Losing Kasey so suddenly when she was healthy and just starting out on the pathway to her chosen career has absolutely broken me.

"I never thought I would have to say goodbye to my 18-year-old daughter in such sudden circumstances.

"She would be one of the very few unlucky people to have a reaction to a vaccine that was supposed to keep her and others safe. Our lives have changed forever."

Kasey would have served her community as a paramedic

Ms Rawden returned a narrative conclusion that Kasey had blood clots caused by the vaccine's use or vaccine-induced immune thrombocytopenia (VITT).

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She also said that when Kasey had the first CT scan, the thrombosis was present on that scan to be seen but VIIT was not identified until March 19, when the concern on the risk was first raised.

She said: "When Kasey was in hospital, it wasn't a known condition, it wasn't known that people would react to the vaccine in this way."

Additionally, she said by June 2021, VITT 'had almost disappeared', thanks to the work of the expert panel and the change in the guidelines.

She added: "I can see that the changes that have been implemented since VITT was identified as such that if someone were to present today as Kasey did, appropriate investigations would be undertaken and appropriate treatment would be administered."

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Ms Rawden then offered her condolences to Kasey's mum, Donna, stepdad Rob and twin sister, Morgan who were present.

She said: "There are no words that are adequate to explain the loss of this incredible young lady who I'm sure would have served her community for many years as a paramedic."

Although Kasey’s death was the third known case of VITT caused by AstraZeneca in South Yorkshire, Sheffield’s director of public health, Greg Fell has assured that these tragic cases of blood clots linked to vaccines were ‘vanishingly rare’.