THE death of BBC Newcastle presenter Lisa Shaw is desperately sad, and our hearts go out to her family.

She was 44, the mother of a young child, with so much to give and so much to experience. There are no words to describe the pain and loss of her family.

The Newcastle coroner yesterday concluded: “Lisa died due to complications of an AstraZeneca Covid vaccine.”

It is only natural that people therefore question the safety of the vaccine.

And it is only right to say that the benefits far, far, far outweigh the risks.

The risk attached to the AZ vaccine seem to be greatest to the youngest, which is why those under 40 are offered an alternative. The risks of Covid seem to most fatal in the oldest, which is why most adults have been so keen to get the vaccine.

Britain, which likes to think Covid is under control and so is returning to normal, is currently averaging 149 deaths a day taking its total to well over 132,000. It is hard to imagine the appalling situation we would be in without the vaccine – we would all be locked down, afraid to go out, and a further 100,000 people would have died.

Although it seems strange, even cruel, to say it in the light of yesterday’s events, the vaccine has been a great success.