A ROOFER who was hospitalised with life-threatening blood clots two weeks after his first Covid jab has called for better awareness of the condition.

Paul Curtis, a self-employed roof tiler from Parkstone, Poole, was rushed to accident and emergency after collapsing at home.

Two days earlier he had been discharged from Poole Hospital after doctors carried out a series of tests to determine why he was feeling so out of breath.

Paul, aged 50, has now been told to take three months of work.

He told the Daily Echo that he cannot say, nor any medical professional has told him, that the AstraZeneca jab he had around a fortnight before becoming ill had anything to do with his brush with death.

Indeed, Paul stressed: "I would encourage everyone to get the jab because it is doing absolute fabulous things for the country, opening it back up.

"All I am saying is if you have the jab and you get shortness of breath afterwards, just be very aware.

"I didn't think anything would happen to me, a 50-year-old."

Paul first started to feel ill around a week and a half after his first dose of AstraZeneca,which he had on February 20.

"I fobbed it off," he said. "I just thought I had a chest infection.

"But I soon noticed I was getting short of breath just running down the garden."

After contacting his GP he was told to go to Poole Hospital, where he stayed overnight for a series of tests.

Paul said: "They put me on a ward, but they were looking at my heart. Then they put me on a treadmill on the Thursday before sending me home.

"It was then when I got this tremendous pain in my back.

"On the Saturday, March 13, I collapsed in the kitchen and went to hospital (Poole Hospital) again – and that is when they found multiple blood clots on both lungs."

He was told his condition was life-threatening by medics, and while he was in Poole accident and emergency news reports of possible blood clots linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine started circulating in the national press.

"If I'd have known this I would have mentioned the AstraZeneca jab – that I'd had it two weeks before.

Paul, who praised doctors and nurses for their care in hospital, said: "I cannot say the jab caused the blood clots, but I just want to make people aware it is something they should mention if you start feeling this way.

"I had my partner sending me though texts about blood clots and the jab in the news while I was laying in hospital.

"They (doctors) didn't even ask if I'd had the jab, but maybe it is something they need to have asked?"

He went onto spend six days in hospital on this second visit, before recovering enough to continue treatment at home.

During his time in accident and emergency doctors told him the pulmonary embolisms on his lungs were potentially fatal.

"I thought, bloody hell," said Paul.

Then he says doctors told him he was right on the cusp of them wanting to give him a clot-busting drug, but there was a one in forty chance of complications.

Paul said: "I thought that the way my week was going I'm going to be that one in 40."

So he was treated with intravenous drugs and injections, then tablets.

He is still being treated with medication and needs follow-up appointments, and has possible lung damage.

Paul said: "The hospital have been really good, absolutely brilliant.

"And, of course, I cannot say these blood clots were caused by the jab - but I just want awareness to be better.

"If I knew there was even the slightest chance, even if this wasn't the case, it may have been checked the first time I was in hospital and caught earlier."

Dr Karen Kirkham, local Dorset GP, and Clinical lead for the Dorset Covid-19 vaccination programme, said: “Vaccines are the best way to protect people from Covid-19.

"Everyone should continue to get their vaccination when asked to do so unless specifically advised otherwise, and a second vaccine is needed to boost immunity to a high level needed for best protection against Covid-19.

“The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is safe, effective and has already saved thousands of lives.

"The UK’s independent regulator, the MHRA, and the JCVI have both said that the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks for the vast majority of adults.”

Current NHS advice to all NHS Trusts and NHS Foundation Trusts, following updates from the Medicines and Healthcare product Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and guidance from the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), is that the AstraZeneca vaccine is "highly effective and substantially reduces the risk of infection and severe Covid-19 disease."

Advice states there has been reports of "extremely rare adverse event of concurrent thrombosis (blood clots) and thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) following vaccination."

The government says benefits of vaccination continue to out weigh any risks.

Dr June Raine, MHRA chief executive, said: "Over 37 million doses of vaccines against Covid-19 have now been administered in the UK, saving thousands of lives through the biggest vaccination programme that has ever taken place in the UK.

"No effective medicine or vaccine is without risk.

"We continually monitor safety during widespread use of any vaccine.

"This is to ensure vaccines are performing as expected, to identify any new side effects that may arise, and to ensure the benefits continue to outweigh the risks.

"The public’s safety is always at the forefront of our minds and we take every report of a suspected side effect very seriously indeed.

"We ask anyone who suspects they have experienced a side effect linked with their Covid-19 vaccine to report it to the Coronavirus Yellow Card website.

"It is still vitally important that people come forward for their vaccination when invited to do so."