Rock musician, 48, died of a brain haemorrhage two weeks after he had AstraZeneca vaccine


A 48-year-old rock musician died of a brain haemorrhage two weeks after having the AstraZeneca vaccine due to rare complications caused by the jab.

The singer, known as Zion, fell ill with an agonising headache on May 13 – eight days after having the first jab, at Penrith Auction Mart in Cumbria.

He died at Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle, on May 19. 

An inquest will be held into Zion’s death, but a preliminary death certificate cites an irreversible brain injury caused by a haemorrhage, in turn caused by ‘complications of a Covid-19 virus vaccine’.

His fiancée, Vikki Spit, 38, who had spent just one night apart from him in 21 years, said her life has been ‘smashed into a million pieces’. 

A 48-year-old rock musician died of a brain haemorrhage two weeks after having the AstraZeneca vaccine due to rare complications caused by the jab. The singer, known as Zion (above), fell ill with an agonising headache on May 13 - eight days after being vaccinated at Penrith Auction Mart in Cumbria

A 48-year-old rock musician died of a brain haemorrhage two weeks after having the AstraZeneca vaccine due to rare complications caused by the jab. The singer, known as Zion (above), fell ill with an agonising headache on May 13 – eight days after being vaccinated at Penrith Auction Mart in Cumbria

Zion died at Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle, on May 19. An inquest will be held into his death, but a preliminary death certificate cites an irreversible brain injury caused by a haemorrhage, in turn caused by 'complications of a Covid-19 virus vaccine'. He is pictured above with his fiancée, Vikki Spit

Zion died at Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle, on May 19. An inquest will be held into his death, but a preliminary death certificate cites an irreversible brain injury caused by a haemorrhage, in turn caused by ‘complications of a Covid-19 virus vaccine’. He is pictured above with his fiancée, Vikki Spit

The couple had met in a London rock club and toured for many years as glam punk band Spit Like This before settling down to a peaceful rural life in Alston, near the Northumberland-Cumbria border, in 2014.

Two days after Zion’s excruciating headache began, she phoned for an ambulance but said she was told by a paramedic it had been ‘too long’ since his jab for it to be the cause.

Zion’s condition worsened and he passed away in hospital on May 19, with the preliminary death certificate listing a brain bleed caused by vaccine complications as the reason.

Ms Spit has been left ‘completely crushed’ by the loss, and although she says she is still ‘pro-vaccine,’ she is calling on the Government to better educate medical staff on the side effects.

For years, Zion and Ms Spit, 38, toured as glam punk band Spit Like This before settling down to a peaceful rural life in Alston, near the Northumberland-Cumbria border, in 2014

For years, Zion and Ms Spit, 38, toured as glam punk band Spit Like This before settling down to a peaceful rural life in Alston, near the Northumberland-Cumbria border, in 2014

She is also calling for ministers to rework the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme after learning that she will not receive compensation unless she can prove that Zion was ‘60% disabled’ before he died.

British health chiefs last month recommended all under-40s are offered an alternative to AstraZeneca’s vaccine because of blood clot fears.

More than 330 cases of a rare clotting disorder have been spotted among 24.2million recipients of the jab — or around one in every 75,000 people. Fifty-eight patients have died.

Born in Dorking, Surrey, Zion met Ms Spit in a London rock club more than 30 years ago, and the pair had been ‘inseparable ever since’.

The singer was christened Zion by his hippy parents but also went by the name Lord Zion. His surname is unknown. 

He and Ms Spit moved to the North Pennines in 2014 and got engaged in 2019.

Ms Spit said: ‘We’d been in a rock band for well over a decade but the fun of doing it was wearing off.’

She started working as a force-free horse trainer in Northumberland, while Zion restored antique paintings and worked as a writer and filmmaker.

‘We were meant to get married in April but it didn’t happen because of Covid. I regret that even more now,’ Ms Spit said. 

She added: ‘We knew that younger people weren’t getting the AztraZeneca vaccine but he wasn’t in that age group so we didn’t think anything of it. It was all good, he’d done his bit, he was keeping people safe.’

Zion had no side effects for the first week – but she phoned for the ambulance on May 15 when he didn’t get out of bed.  

She said: ‘The first responder took all the information and she thought it was relevant he had had the vaccine, but the paramedic said it was too long ago and they came to the conclusion he had a migraine.’

Ms Spit called paramedics again two days later when Zion started slurring his words, before suffering a seizure.

Vikki Spit wrote on Facebook: 'This is the last picture I took of Z. We went for a walk, not knowing it would be one of our last. He is carrying rubbish he'd picked up that people had thrown into the verge. He always tried to make things better in any little way he could'

Vikki Spit wrote on Facebook: ‘This is the last picture I took of Z. We went for a walk, not knowing it would be one of our last. He is carrying rubbish he’d picked up that people had thrown into the verge. He always tried to make things better in any little way he could’

He had another seizure while ambulance staff were there, and was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary.

Ms Spit said: ‘I couldn’t go with him so I gave him a kiss and a hug and told him I’d see him soon. I hope he understood that.

‘I thought he had had a stroke and he was going to be OK – he was extremely fit and healthy. I was doing things like getting my provisional driving licence so I could get us to and from town while I was looking after him.’

Hours later, she said, ‘The neurosurgeon rang me and said they’d had to remove a massive piece of skull because the pressure on his brain was enormous.

‘They said they’d never seen anything like it – they didn’t expect him to wake up, and if he did he’d be in a vegetative state. And they said they thought it was caused by the AstraZeneca vaccine.’

Since his death, Zion has helped save three lives by donating his liver and kidneys for transplant, as well as donating other organs for medical research.

Ms Spit said: ‘I don’t know what to do with myself. I feel like my whole life’s been smashed into a million pieces and I’ve got to put it together, but it’s not going to look anything like I thought.

‘I thought I was going to be with Zion for another 40 years.’

What is the risk of getting blood clot after AstraZeneca’s jab? 

British health chiefs last month recommended all under-40s are offered an alternative to AstraZeneca’s vaccine because of blood clot fears.

More than 330 cases of a rare clotting disorder have been spotted among 24.2million recipients of the jab — or around one in every 75,000 people. Fifty-eight patients have died.

But statisticians analysed the numbers and found rates were slightly higher among younger adults, with females appearing to be at most risk, too.

Cambridge academics estimated around 1.9 in every 100,000 twenty-somethings given AstraZeneca’s jab would suffer serious blood clots alongside abnormally low platelet levels (thrombocytopenia) — the specific disorder linked to the jab. For thirty-somethings the figure was 1.5.

They compared that against the average number of Covid intensive care admissions that would be prevented by giving that cohort the jab. And they then analysed the risk/benefit ratio in different scenarios, based entirely on how widespread the disease was at the time.

For example, only 0.2 ICU admissions would be prevented for every 100,000 twenty-somethings given the jab at prevalence levels seen in April (fewer than 30,000 infections per week). For adults in their thirties, the figure was around 0.8.

It showed, however, the benefits of giving AstraZeneca’s vaccine to 40-49 year olds outweighed the potential risk (1.7 prevented ICU admissions per 100,000 people compared to 1.2 blood clots).

But the decision to recommend under-40s are offered Pfizer or Moderna’s jab instead was basically only taken because the outbreak was squashed to extremely low levels, as well as the fact younger people are known to face tiny odds of falling seriously ill with coronavirus.

For older adults, who the disease poses a much greater threat to, the benefits of vaccination are clear, regulators insist. Jabs have already saved around 13,000 lives in England, top scientists believe.

However, because there were so few blood clots, it made it impossible for No10’s vaccine advisory panel to give an exact age cut-off. Instead, they were only able to analyse figures by decade.

The first clots to alarm people were ones appearing in veins near the brains of younger adults in a condition called CSVT (cerebral sinus venous thrombosis).

Since that, however, people have developed clots in other parts of their bodies and they are usually linked to low numbers of platelets, which is unusual because platelets are usually used by the immune system to build the clots.

In most cases people recover fully and the blockages are generally easy to treat if spotted early, but they can trigger strokes or heart or lung problems if unnoticed.

Symptoms depend entirely on where the clot is, with brain blockages causing excrutiating headaches. Clots in major arteries in the abdomen can cause persistent stomach pain, and ones in the leg can cause swelling of the limbs. 

Researchers in Germany believe the problem lies in the adenovirus vector — a common cold virus used so both vaccines can enter the body.

Academics investigating the issue say the complication is ‘completely absent’ in mRNA vaccines like Pfizer’s and Moderna’s because they have a different delivery mechanism.

Experts at Goethe-University of Frankfurt and Ulm University, in Helmholtz, say the AstraZeneca vaccine enters the nucleus of the cell – a blob of DNA in the middle. For comparison, the Pfizer jab enters the fluid around it that acts as a protein factory.

Bits of coronavirus proteins that get inside the nucleus can break up and the unusual fragments then get expelled out into the bloodstream, where they can trigger clotting in a tiny number of people, scientists claim.

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