Pictured: Newlywed, 27, who died in southwest Sydney from Covid

Pictured: Newlywed, 27, who died in southwest Sydney from Covid

August 4, 2021

Heartbreaking reason Australia’s youngest Covid victim aged just 27 wasn’t vaccinated – as he is pictured with his wife of six weeks who caught the virus first while working in aged care

  • Ady Al-Askar collapsed in the shower and could not be revived on Tuesday
  • The 27-year-old had been diagnosed with Covid almost two weeks earlier 
  • He was not vaccinated because he was anxious about potential side effects 
  • He also mistakenly did not consider the vaccine a priority given he was so young
  • Official advice is that vaccine benefits far outweigh risks, which are infrequent
  • Mr Al-Askar’s wife is in hospital being treated for shock and for coronavirus 
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A young man who died in the shower while suffering from Covid was anxious about getting vaccinated because he feared it could have long-term side effects. 

Ady Al-Askar collapsed on Tuesday afternoon and was unable to be revived.

The 27-year-old had been isolating in his Liverpool unit in Sydney’s southwest with his wife, Yasmin, an aged care nurse who first contracted the virus and brought it home from work.

The couple were due to end their 14-day mandatory quarantine period on Wednesday and relatives are now questioning whether Covid contributed to his death. 

Heart conditions reportedly run in the Al-Askar family, and his cousin, Khalid Thijeel, told Daily Mail Australia he believed it was this that cost the man his life, not the virus. 

The 27-year-old had been isolating in his Liverpool unit in Sydney’s southwest with his aged care nurse wife, Yasmin, who first contracted the virus and brought it home from work

Pictured: Mr Al-Askar on his wedding day, just six weeks ago

Mr Thijeel said his cousin, a factory worker, had not yet been vaccinated despite government directives for all Sydneysiders – particularly those living in hotspots – to get the jab. 

He said given his youth, Mr Al-Askar mistakenly didn’t consider getting the jab a priority.

He was also wary of potential long-term effects the newly developed vaccine might have. 

Pictured: Ady Al-Askar

Mr Thijeel stressed his cousin was not an ‘anti vaxxer’, but was hesitant after mixed messaging from the Federal Government which initially told Australians the AstraZeneca jab was not safe for people under the age of 60.

‘He was young, and it’s my understanding he wanted to see what long-term effects there were… he doesn’t have children yet, but would it affect them’,’ he said.

‘He was just waiting to see’.  

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation’s latest advice states that increased transmissibility of the Delta variant outweighs any minor risks associated with the AstraZeneca jab. 

‘In a large outbreak, the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca are greater than the risk of rare side effects for all age groups,’ the advice states.

‘ATAGI reiterates that all adults in greater Sydney should strongly consider the benefits of earlier protection with COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca rather than waiting for alternative vaccines.’  

Six Australians have died as a result of developing blood clots after receiving their AstraZeneca jab, out of about 12.3million doses administered. 

Meanwhile 17 people have died as a result of the current Covid outbreak in NSW. 

How the government’s health advice has changed regarding vaccinations 

When the vaccine rollout began, Prime Minister Scott Morrison was confident in the way the nation was managing the pandemic that he publicly declared: ‘It’s not a race’.

Those comments came back to haunt him just months later when the highly-infectious Delta variant of Covid crept through our strict border protocols.

Since then, he’s very much so confirmed that it IS a race against time, and, as a result, the messaging has been confusing for some.

Initially, the AstraZeneca vaccine was rolled out only for people over the age of 60. The health advice stated it was not safe for younger people to have this vaccine, due to an extremely low risk of blood clotting.

AZ is Australia’s primary vaccine supply, followed by Pfizer, which was publicly lauded as the safer option for young people.

In response to the increased threat of the Delta variant, this advice has changed several times.

The most up to date advice is this: ‘In a large outbreak, the benefits of the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca are greater than the risk of rare side effects for all age groups.

‘ATAGI reiterates that all adults in greater Sydney should strongly consider the benefits of earlier protection with COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca rather than waiting for alternative vaccines.’  

Pfizer is largely considered the preferable option among certain demographics, but is not as easy to source as the AstraZeneca. 

Mr Al-Askar’s death makes him the youngest victim of the virus in New South Wales to date.    

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejikilian and chief health officer Kerry Chant said his tragic death served as a stark warning that the Delta variant did not age discriminate.

Government officials at a state and federal level are now urging all Sydneysiders to get vaccinated as soon as possible. 

Young people were initially not considered a priority age group under the government rollout. 

Mr Al-Askar’s cousin Khalid Thijeel (pictured together) said the family are not certain he died of Covid-19, despite what authorities have told them

Pictured: Healthcare workers asking a person  in southwest Sydney to check in on Wednesday

But Ms Berejiklian has since warned the Delta variant is spreading rampantly within young communities and repeatedly said that an increasing amount of under-40s are in hospital after contracting the virus. 

‘This disease is lethal and it affects people of all ages,’ Ms Berejiklian said on Wednesday.

‘We can’t stress how important it is to come forward and get vaccinated. If you are vaccinated you are staying out of hospital, staying out of the ICU and helping to reduce the spread of the virus.’

Dr Chant said Mr Al-Askar was being cared for by the local health district but ‘suddenly deteriorated’. 

‘He was being checked daily and he did complain of feeling a little fatigued but the deterioration happened suddenly, is my understanding. We are aware that with Covid you can get sudden deaths.’ 

Aude Al-Askar, 27, from Liverpool in Sydney’s south-west, had been ‘feeling 90% fine’ after being diagnosed with virus late last month

But Mr Thijeel said his cousin was feeling ’90 per cent fine’ even as recently as Tuesday morning.

He did not develop any symptoms until about a week after his diagnosis.  

‘He woke up yesterday, he was feeling good, he had breakfast, called his family and then he had a shower about 4pm and that was it,’ Mr Thijeel said. 

‘He only got married about 6 weeks ago… [he was] just starting his life.’ 

Mr Al-Askar’s wife, who was quarantining with him inside their unit, found him unconscious in the shower and called an ambulance.

She was rushed to hospital in shock. She, too, had minor symptoms.

‘He had no coughing, nothing,’ Mr Thijeel said.   

New South Wales recorded another 233 cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday as Sydney’s Delta outbreak continues to grow

Mr Al-Askar’s cousin explained the 27-year-old forklift driver had not yet been vaccinated against Covid

Paramedics who responded to the emergency reportedly confirmed that he suffered heart failure, whereas the hospital specified that Covid was a contributing factor in his death.   

Friends have expressed their shock and horror at learning of Mr Al-Askar’s death.

One woman, who went to weekend school with Mr Al-Askar to learn Arabic together, said he was one of the ‘friendliest boys’ she knew who had ‘kindness in his heart for everyone’. 

She was told that ‘his heart couldn’t handle the infection’. 

New South Wales recorded another 233 cases of Covid overnight.

Forty-seven of the new cases were infectious in the community. The source of 133 infections is still under investigation.  

An unvaccinated woman in her 80s from Sydney’s inner-west also died at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital on Tuesday, taking the death toll from the city’s latest outbreak of the highly-contagious Delta strain to 17. 

A Covid-19 vaccination is administered at the Bankstown Sports Club on Tuesday. The Bankstown local government area is one of 11 LGAs under tougher restrictions than the rest of Sydney

Sydney’s vaccine divide: NSW government is accused of giving MORE jabs to city’s north and east – as furious mayor says it takes 30 DAYS to get vaccinated in south-west hotspot 

Sydney’s south-west, taking in the Liverpool and Fairfield council areas, has eastern Australia’s lowest metropolitan vaccination rate despite being in a Covid hotspot.

Just 14.6 per cent who those aged 16 and over have had two doses, with 33.1 per cent so far receiving one injection. 

On the other side of the city, 26.9 per cent of people are fully vaccinated on the North Shore where a majority, or 51.9 per cent, have had one dose, federal Department of Health data shows.

In the eastern suburbs, where the outbreak of the more contagious Delta strain began in June, 23.9 per cent of eligible residents were fully vaccinated with 44.8 per cent having receiving a single jab as of August 1.

Cumberland Mayor Steve Christou said he and his wife Josephine struggled to book a timely vaccination in their part of western Sydney, where only 17.7 per cent of people are fully vaccinated and 35.1 per cent have had a first dose.

‘I don’t think it’s as easy for people to book an appointment in western Sydney and get vaccinated as easy as it is in the more affluent suburbs,’ he told Sunrise on Wednesday.

‘Only last night my wife, she conducted a little test with me in our loungeroom, where she jumped online and she could potentially book herself a vaccination appointment within seven days if her postcode was within the northern suburbs or eastern suburbs area.

‘But for western Sydney, there’s was potentially up to a 30-day wait so that may be part of the problem. We’re a bit short of jabs out here.’

Sunrise host David Koch was outraged.

‘That’s silly when southwestern Sydney is one of the real hotspots,’ he said. 

Residents in the Fairfield, Liverpool, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Blacktown, Parramatta, Campbelltown and the Georges River are subject to stricter measures banning them from venturing more than 5km from home, even for work unless they are employed in the health or emergency services sectors.

With Premier Gladys Berejiklian calling on NSW to hit a six million vaccination target, Mr Christou said he had offered 19 community centres to be turned into immunisation hubs.

‘Just come in: give us the nurses, give us the jabs, and we’ll absolutely help you reach your six million target,’ he said.

‘But it’s hard to do that when you’re not giving us nurses or jabs.’ 

 

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