Dubois lived in the village of Tsada in Cyprus's western Paphos district for the past five months. She received her first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the city of Paphos – the district's capital – on May 6. The model later posted on Facebook how she felt "horrendous" after inoculation.
The following week, she shared her experience after waking up one morning. "[I] woke up feeling fine and then within an hour – I had full body shakes, all my joints seized and I was struggling to breathe. [I] was cold to the bone with a persistent headache and dizziness." Dubois added that her parents came to take care of her. She took a COVID-19 test which turned out negative. "Maybe I'm having a prolonged reaction to my [COVID-19 shot] last week," she said.
The model was then taken to Nicosia General Hospital (NGH) in the capital for breathing problems on May 14. She posted on Facebook that day that her white blood cell count was high and doctors did not know what caused it. Dubois surmised that the conditions that struck her were either part of the "prolonged reaction" following her vaccination, or she "caught something else" that compromised her immune system.
"I am completely drained, [have] no energy and my whole body hurts with sore and weak joints. This morning really scared me, to be honest. I have cleared my diary for the week and will be taking that time to rest and get back on form," the rest of Dubois's post said. Her friend Andrew Powers said that the model had slipped into a coma by May 19 and "was not expected to come out of it."
Local Cypriot media reported that Dubois suffered a brain hemorrhage and died on the afternoon of May 22. An NGH official said she suffered a "serious thrombotic episode," but other health officials said she had no underlying conditions. Meanwhile, Cypriot State Health Services Organization spokesman Charalambos Charilaou said the European Medicines Agency would look into the British model's death.
Cypriot officials quickly defended the AstraZeneca vaccine despite Dubois's death.
Speaking to the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CyBC), Ministry of Health adviser Dr. Maria Koliou said the ministry was expecting "a very small number of such incidents" with the vaccination of younger people. She added that the ministry's epidemiological team is expected to discuss the AstraZeneca vaccine's side effects and if they will limit its administration by age. (Related: New research points to link between AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots.)
Ministry of Health Pharmaceutical Services Deputy Director Helena Panayiotopoulou said the blood clot incidents only constitute a small percentage compared to the total number of vaccinated people. NGH Hematology Department Assistant Director Dr. Marios Antoniades said in statements to the CyBC that not all post-vaccination thrombotic incidents are related to the COVID-19 vaccine. He added that guidance eschewing the use of AstraZeneca's vaccine on younger people was "not scientifically substantiated."
A similar instance happened in the U.K. last month, when 27-year-old field service engineer Jack Last died following his vaccination. The "fit and healthy" Suffolk resident received his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine on March 30 at the Trinity Park mass vaccination center in Ipswich. Last started experiencing headaches on April 9, which caused him to be brought to the emergency room of Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. (Related: Young engineer dies 3 weeks after first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.)
The headaches turned out to be symptoms of "a bleed on the brain," which subsequently caused Last's death on April 20 – 11 days after being rushed to the hospital. His elder sister Jasmine said that Jack's death was rather unusual. "It was very unusual for Jack to feel unwell at all. To my knowledge, he … never had a day off work due to illness," she said.
Jasmine added that Jack himself was "unsure" why he was offered the AstraZeneca vaccine despite being only 27 and not having any underlying conditions: It is usually offered to older people. She said: "He didn't know why he'd been told to book [a vaccine] appointment."
The Last family said they would not comment on the circumstances surrounding Jack's death until they received the autopsy results. "We're waiting for the post-mortem results and the inquest date to be confirmed – but we do believe that his death was linked to the vaccine," Jasmine said.
Visit VaccineDeaths.com to read more reports about the blood clots linked to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.