Anti-vaxxer dies of Covid nine days after saying virus is ‘nothing to be afraid of’ – The Independent

A healthy man who died of Covid after refusing to get the vaccine made a “terrible mistake”, his partner has said.

Leslie Lawrenson, 58, died at his home in Bournemouth on 2 July, after downplaying his symptoms and declining to go to the hospital.

His long-term partner Amanda Mitchell, 56, who was severely ill with the virus at the time, said he believed the vaccines were too “experimental” and put his family at risk.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, she explained that Cambridge University-educated Lawrenson decided against the jab after reading material on social media.

“It was a daily thing that he said to us: ‘You don’t need to have it, you’ll be fine, just be careful’.

“He said to me: ‘It’s a gene thing, an experimental thing. You’re putting something in your body that hasn’t been thoroughly tested.’”

Lawrenson posted a vlog on social media just nine days before his death, describing how he “spent six hours in the fetal position, trying to block out the pain”.

He explained: “Every part of my body was racked with pain. The fever ramped up incredibly hot – you could have fried an egg on me.”

Anti-vaxxer dies of Covid nine days after saying virus is ‘nothing to be afraid of’

Despite the symptoms and having difficulty breathing, he said he did not want to call an ambulance, instead “held on” as he didn’t think he was in any danger.

“These are things we have to suffer, it’s part of living. You have to trust your immune system. If the alternative is we live in fear, we create a Bogey Man, out of something that isn’t anything to be afraid of for 99.9 per cent of us, we’ve got to deal with that.”

He likened his state to the flu, insisting Covid was nothing different. However, the “potential dangers from taking the experimental jab” were “not worth the risk”.

He added: “I’d rather take my chance with my immune system”.

On July 2, Ms Mitchell – who had also refused the vaccine despite having diabetes and hypertension – called paramedics to the family home after she became seriously ill. She was later hospitalised.

They were called back 10 minutes later when her 19-year-old son found Lawrenson dead in bed.

She said: “I feel incredibly foolish. Les died unnecessarily. Les made a terrible mistake and he’s paid the ultimate price for that.”

Ms Mitchell insisted she would receive the jab as soon as doctors deemed her fit enough.