A leading cancer expert in the UK and well known Vaccine advocate, has died suddenly after receiving a routine yellow fever vaccination.
Martin Gore, 67, died Thursday morning after receiving the vaccine, which is recommended to travellers visiting sub-Saharan Africa, most of South America, and parts of Central American and the Caribbean.
London’s Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, where Gore worked for more than 30 years, expressed its “deep sadness” following the announcement of his death.
“Martin was at the heart of The Royal Marsden’s life and work in research, treatment and the training of our new oncologists,” the hospital said in a statement.” His contribution as medical director for 10 years, a trustee of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, and as a clinician is unparalleled.”
Professor Mel Greaves from the Institute of Cancer Research, described Gore as “a force of nature, very energetic, clear-thinking and compassionate.” While Allyson Kate, president of the charity Ovarian Cancer Action, said: “He was a giant in the field and a humorous colleague. There is no doubt that professor Gore improved the lives of many. He will be greatly missed.”
Gore’s death casts light on the heightened risk associated with the yellow fever vaccine and the over-60 demographic. Typical side effects of the vaccine include headaches, muscle pain, mild fever and soreness at the injection site, according to the NHS. However, the vaccinations can, in rare circumstances, cause more severe side effects, including allergic reactions and problems affecting the brain or organs. The NHS estimates that these reactions occur less than 10 times for every million doses. The WHO reported that all cases of viscerotropic disease — a rare but dangerous side effect of yellow fever vaccinations where an illness similar to wild-type yellow fever proliferates in multiple organs — have occurred in primary vaccines, starting two to five days after vaccination.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — the US government’s health protection agency — warns that viscerotropic disease can lead to multiple organ dysfunction syndrome or multi-organ failure and death in close to 60% of cases.
Although CNN downplayed the risks in this article The World Health Organisation also told CNN that a “risk-benefit assessment” for individuals aged over 60 should be performed, taking into account the risk of acquiring the disease.
Jonathan Ball, professor of molecular virology at the University of Nottingham, added:
“serious side effects have a greater risk of developing in the over-60s and in very young infants. Notably, he also pointed to reports which suggest that the risk of developing “vaccine-associated viscerotropic disease” also increase in the under-60 age group.
Gore was an oncologist for more than 35 years, and first joined the Royal Marsden in 1978 as a senior house officer. He was appointed medical director of the trust in 2006, and held the role for 10 years until he stepped down in January 2016. His other notable roles include acting as the chairman of the Gene Therapy Advisory Committee at the Department of Health between 2006 and 2012, being a senior investigator at the National Institute for Health Research between 2008 and 2011, and being appointed commissioner of the Commission on Human Medicines at the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.
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