NHS worker dies after receiving first dose of Pfizer vaccine
A father of four from County Durham in North East England died after receiving the first jab of the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE.
Chris Moore was in lockdown for months before returning to his job as an administrator at the National Health Service (NHS) late last year. He received the first dose of the vaccine on Jan. 2 at the University Hospital of North Durham. Moore began to show symptoms two days later and tested positive for the coronavirus.
He was rushed to the hospital due to breathing difficulties. He was placed in intensive care but was later moved to a regular ward after showing signs of improvement. He relapsed shortly after and died four weeks later on Feb. 10. He is survived by his wife, Helen, and their four children, Rebecca, Daniel, James and Thomas.
His wife is not sure how he contracted COVID-19 and believes the vaccine has nothing to do with it. But studies indicate that none of the vaccines approved for use so far is 100 percent effective in preventing COVID-19, even after both doses have been administered.
Research shows that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is about 52 percent effective after just one dose. That efficacy level can go up to 95 percent after the second dose. This means that some people who have received the first jab could still be infected with COVID-19 before they come in to receive the second dose of the vaccine.
Scientists also cautioned that the first dose could take at least two to three weeks to become effective in fighting off the virus. This may explain why Moore showed symptoms shortly after he received his first dose.
A tragic death
Tributes for the NHS worker have since flooded in. David Coxon, a close family friend, said Moore was a family person. Coxon also said Moore was a loving husband, who his wife often described as her soulmate.
“I think he was a very caring and very loving person. He always seemed to be a smiling and happy person,” said Coxon. Moore would have celebrated his birthday on Feb. 26 as well, the same day his son, Daniel, turns 18 years old.
Of Moore’s experience at the hospital, Coxon said Moore was put on a ventilator as his family was called to visit him. Moore recovered a little after seeing his wife and children but needed kidney dialysis. He never fully recovered since and passed shortly after.
Coxon believes Moore might have contracted the disease as he was going to the hospital to get vaccinated. “The sad truth is that [his family is] never going to know,” said Coxon.
Coxon, who said he was speaking on behalf of Helen and the children, added that he wants people to know that the virus still exists as Prime Minister Boris Johnson prepares to ease restrictions beginning March.
Coxon has set up a JustGiving page to help the family after they had to return Moore’s car courtesy to the NHS. The NHS supports the families of staff that lost a loved one to COVID-19. Because Moore is no longer considered staff, his family is not eligible for any financial assistance from the NHS at all.
“They say that you don’t move on from grief, you move forward with it,” said Coxon. “[But] with four children to support, that journey is considerably easier if you haven’t also lost the family car.”