Dad-to-be who ‘put off’ getting a Covid vaccination dies in hospital aged 40

A Covid sceptic dad-to-be - who previously said he was “shocked” to have become so unwell - died last week after being hospitalised with the virus.

Marcus Birks died on August 27 (Credit: BBC)

Marcus Birks, 40, was admitted to the intensive care unit at Royal Stoke University earlier in August.

Mr Birks, who was a musician alongside his wife Lis Birks, had said in an interview with the BBC earlier in this month he was “shocked” to have become so unwell from Covid because he “rarely got ill”.

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Mr Birks, who had not had the vaccine, said: "If you haven’t been ill, you don’t think you’re going to get ill, so you listen to the [anti-vaccine] stuff.

“When you feel like you can’t get enough breath, it’s the scariest feeling in the world."

The 40-year-old, from Leek in Staffordshire, said his symptoms started with a flu-like feeling, which got progressively worse, and he was eventually admitted to hospital, suffering from breathing difficulties.

"First thing I am going tell all my family to do is get the vaccine and anybody I see," he said.

He said information about the virus and the vaccine had been skewered on social media and conspiracy theorists.

Mrs Birks, who is pregnant, wrote on Facebook: "The pain I feel writing this is unbearable, my heart has been ripped out, my soul and world completely and utterly shattered."

She went on to describe her husband as her best friend and soulmate.

Mrs Birks thanked people for their kind words, adding: "I made him a promise that I will tell our baby boy every day how much he loves him, how special he is and how he would have been/is the best dad a son could ever wish for."