BRIT model Stephanie Dubois was “living the dream” in Cyprus before dying after getting a Covid jab, her family said.
The model’s heartbroken dad Tony said the family had been “living the dream” in Cyprus, where the ex-RAF officer has lived with Stephanie’s mum, Brigitte, since retiring to a village outside Paphos a decade ago.
Stephanie had divided her time between the island and the UK, and had spent much of the pandemic with her beloved parents in Cyprus.
Pambos Charalambos, the owner of one of the couple’s favourite restaurants, described the family as “lovely, outgoing” people.
A senior operational logistics executive in the air force, Tony has always been an active member of Paphos’ vibrant ex-pat community as has Brigitte.
“They’re lovely, outgoing people and Stephanie is beautiful,” he told The Sun Online.
“I had no idea this had happened to her. She was very sweet, very polite. After leaving the military Tony had worked for years in Saudi Arabia.
“The whole family loved Cyprus. They’re very good friends but I haven’t seen them for a long time because we’ve had three lockdowns in Cyprus and I’ve had to keep the taverna closed.”
Just 12 days after her jab, Ms Dubois shared what would be her final Facebook post – a picture of her bruised arm.
She wrote: “Done being ill now… Couple more tests today! PS – I still don’t like needles – feeling tired.”
Charalambos Charilaou, Cypriot health service spokesman, said that her death would be investigated by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
But it has not been confirmed yet if her death is linked to the Covid jab.
Dubois posted on Facebook after she received the first dose: “So I had the vaccination today! I hate needles, today was no exception . . . And now I feel horrendous . . . pizza and bed for me.”
On May 14 she was taken to hospital with breathing problems. She wrote: “Woke up feeling fine and then within an hour I had full body shakes, all my joints seized and I was struggling to breathe and was cold to the bone with a persistent headache and dizziness.
“Mum and dad came to look after me and took me for a Covid test, which thankfully was negative . . . but it still doesn’t explain what the problem is. Maybe I’m having a prolonged reaction to my Covid jab last week.”
By May 19 she had slipped into a coma and “was not expected to come out of it”, according to Andrew Powers, a friend.
Local media reported that she had suffered a brain haemorrhage and died on Saturday afternoon.
Health officials at Cyprus’s main state hospital in the capital, Nicosia, said that she had no underlying health conditions.
Head of the pharmaceutical services at the ministry of health, Elena Panayiotopoulou, said it may never be clear what killed Stephanie.
“We may never be sure that her death is linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine,” she told The Sun Online.
“What she suffered is very, very rare, although we do know that thrombosis cytopenia syndrome can also be suffered by people who have not had the vaccine.
“A lot of further investigation needs to be conducted to see if there is any correlation between the two incidents.
“We have sent all our findings to the European Medicines Agency who will make that assessment… and they may never make a conclusion based on one incident, which means we may never know if there is any link.”
In March, Cyprus suspended AstraZeneca shots pending a review by the EMA.
Germany, France and other EU member states followed suit but re-introduced the jab on March 18.
Only two other people in Cyprus developed blood clots after the AstraZeneca vaccination. Both had underlying health issues and neither died.
In April, the EMA confirmed that the benefits of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine continued to outweigh the risk of side effects.
Does the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine cause blood clots?
UK body, Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency weekly summary of vaccine side effects said: “On the basis of this ongoing scientific review, it has been concluded that the evidence of a link with Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca is stronger, but more work is still needed.”
European regulators have been more concrete in their findings.
Speaking at the European Medicines Agency briefing on April 7, Dr Sabine Straus, EMA safety committee chairwoman, said: “Our conclusion is that these clotting disorders are very rare side effects of the vaccine.”
The “unusual” blood clotting should be listed as a “possible side effect of the vaccine”, the EMA’s safety committee decided.
For all the Covid-19 vaccines, England’s deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam has previously described blood clots as “vanishingly rare” but “quite serious”.
The MHRA said the overall incidence of blood clots with low platelets after a first dose is put at 10.5 per million doses, and about one in a million for a second dose.
There have been 49 deaths, meaning the odds of someone getting a fatal blood clot is 2.1 per million.
But this goes up to 4.5 for those aged 30 to 39.
The MHRA gives a weekly update on figures here.
The EMA also reminded the public that of the very few cases of blood clots, most were combined with low levels of blood platelets and were within two weeks of vaccination.
Most cases reported have also occurred in women under 60, based on the currently available evidence, specific risk factors have not been confirmed.
The EMA say their scientific assessment underpins the safe and effective use of Covid-19 vaccines.
One plausible explanation for the combination of blood clots and low blood platelets is an immune response.
Britain’s medical watchdog, the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), said the overall incidence of blood clots with low platelets after a first dose of Astrazeneca is put at 10.5 per million doses, and about one in a million for a second dose.
There have been 49 deaths in the UK, meaning the odds of someone getting a fatal blood clot is 2.1 per million.
But this goes up to 4.5 for those aged 30 to 39.
While England’s deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam has previously described the blood clots as “vanishingly rare” but “quite serious”.
The same kind of blood clotting cases have been seen in Europe.
And there are cases in the US after having the Johnson & Johnson vaccine – which uses the same technology as the AZ jab but is not being used in Europe or the UK.