Thursday morning UK news briefing: Vaccine message from family of clot victim

Carry on jabbing. That is the message from the family of a solicitor who died from a blood clot on the brain after taking the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, as they urged the public to “keep saving lives” by continuing to receive the jab.

Neil Astles, 59, died on Easter Sunday after suffering from 10 days of worsening headaches and loss of vision.

His sister, Dr Alison Astles, exclusively told The Telegraph his family were “furious” but wanted the public to continue taking the vaccine because “fewer people will die”. She said her brother had been “extraordinarily unlucky”.

Mr Astles is the first named person in the UK suspected to have died from side-effects linked to the Oxford jab.

It was announced yesterday that healthy under-30s would receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines instead of AstraZeneca’s after regulators said there was a “strong possibility” it had caused deadly blood clots. Science Editor Sarah Knapton explains what we learnt from the briefing.

From fatigue to sore arms, read all you need to know about possible vaccine side effects.

Meanwhile, Britain will pass the threshold for herd immunity on Monday, according to dynamic modelling by University College London.

According to results published this week, the number of people who have protection against coronavirus either through vaccination or previous infection will hit 73.4 per cent on April 12.

It heaps more pressure on the Government to move faster in releasing restrictions.

Petrol bombs thrown onto bus in more Belfast violence

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has condemned fresh violence in Northern Ireland after a bus was hijacked and set on fire. It was pelted with petrol bombs in just one of a number of incidents in Belfast last night. The Northern Ireland Executive is to meet this morning to be briefed on the situation. It follows several nights of unrest in loyalist communities amid tensions over the Northern Ireland Protocol on Brexit. View videos of the violence and see a gallery of striking pictures.

What does it take to become a female billionaire?

Did you manage to save money during the pandemic – perhaps from all those takeaway sandwiches? If we are honest, it is unlikely to have made you a billionaire. For that, you will have had to do somewhat more. Or maybe not. The new Forbes list of the world’s 2,755 billionaires features the full range of talents. But despite a growing number of female entrepreneurs smashing the glass ceiling, Rosa Silverman writes that the most reliable routes to immense wealth are still birth and marriage.

At a glance: Coronavirus morning briefing

Also in the news: Today’s other headlines

‘This is a coup’ | Myanmar’s embassy in London has been “stormed” and seized by allies of the nation’s military regime, the ambassador alleged. Kyaw Zwar Minn, who has served as the south-east Asian country’s ambassador to Britain since 2014, said that he had been “betrayed” by former colleagues whom he had worked alongside in the building. See pictures of the former military colonel stuck outside.  

Around the world: A different kind of ballot box

Carlos Mayorga, a Mexican congressional candidate, launches his campaign from inside a coffin to highlight the country’s 205,000 coronavirus deaths and the toll of cartel violence. His message for politicians was that people were dying “because of their indifference”. View more of the day’s best pictures from around the world.

The unusual campaign launch in Ciudad de Juarez, Mexico. CREDIT: HERIKA MARTINEZ/AFP

The unusual campaign launch in Ciudad de Juarez, Mexico


Comment and analysis

Editor’s choice: Features and arts

  1. 40-plus fitness | Why strength is the secret – and how to keep midlife muscles strong
  2. Opioid dependence | What should doctors do – are painkiller prescriptions out of control?
  3. After the White House | The six not-so-secret messages of Trump’s post-presidential office

Business and money briefing

After Brexit | JP Morgan boss Jamie Dimon has warned that he could shift all bankers serving European Union clients out of London as regulators on the Continent seek to steal the City’s business. In his annual letter to shareholders, the US bank chief said Brexit “cannot possibly” boost the UK economy and warned of mass job moves as Brussels seeks to exclude London from its markets.  

Sport briefing

Augusta picks | Back in its usual April slot, the 85th Masters returns with world number one Dustin Johnson bidding to retain the title. But there are plenty more sub-plots. From veterans still grinding it out to emerging names throwing their hat into the ring, it promises to be anything but dull. Telegraph Sport offers our key predictions.  

Tonight’s dinner

Roast sausages, mushrooms and sweet potatoes | Sage, butter and white wine (a heavenly trio) turn these ingredients into a delicious dish. View the recipe. Try our Cookbook newsletter.

And finally… for this morning’s downtime

Nudes for sale | Former model Jessica Davies knew that images of her were being misused – but making a new BBC documentary about stolen nude pictures revealed the full extent. She writes about the moment she discovered she was a victim

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