World-renowned cancer specialist praised by Prince William died of rare reaction to yellow fever jab, inquest finds

A world-renowned cancer specialist hailed as a “pioneer” by Prince William died of a rare complication from a yellow fever vaccination, an inquest has found.

Professor Martin Gore CBE, below, died eight days after being inoculated at a clinic in Chelsea earlier this year, ahead of a week-long trip to Tanzania.

The 67-year-old, who was medical director for 10 years at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Chelsea and a Trustee of the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, went to hospital when he felt lethargic and cold.

He was rushed into intensive care after suffering multiple organ failure and died the following morning, St Pancras coroner’s court heard.

Professor Gore, a father-of-four, was presented with a lifetime achievement award in 2015 by William, who hailed him as a “source of inspiration” and said: “He is one of the pioneers of 20th-century cancer care.”

He went to a Boots clinic on January 2 and was recommended the yellow fever vaccination after telling the pharmacist he may travel to areas where mosquitoes breed. “A yellow fever vaccination certificate is generally not required for people travelling to Tanzania”, coroner Mary Hassell said. “It might be recommended for a small sub-set of travellers who are at an increased risk because of prolonged travel or who may have extensive exposure to mosquitoes.”

Boots said in a statement it is updating its World Health Organisation-based vaccination advice software to change “recommended” to “to be considered” for travellers in the same category as Professor Gore.

Dr Sanjay Bhagani, an infectious disease consultant, said contracting yellow fever as a result of a vaccination is very rare and there is currently no cure for the disease. “In a small percentage of people, especially people with immune deficiencies, the virus can replicate ... As far as we were aware Professor Gore did not have any immune deficiency.”

Professor Gore’s son Alex said his father was a specialist in immunisation and would not have wanted his death to put people off vaccinations.

Ms Hassell recorded a narrative verdict, saying he “died of a rare but recognised complication of yellow fever vaccination”.

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