Over the past week there have been a number of posts about data on deaths in England by vaccination status, both for deaths related to Covid and other deaths. For example, this post on Twitter:
This approach doesn’t tell the whole story, however – there are far fewer unvaccinated in England thus you’d expect there to be far fewer deaths with Covid.
The actual data from the ONS suggest that there are more deaths with Covid in the unvaccinated than in the triple-vaccinated for May 2022:
That seems fairly conclusive – vaccination seems to offer a slight benefit for those aged under 60, with reductions in mortality from an already low risk to even lower. But as always, the devil is in the details.
The ONS doesn’t actually give the full data that it uses to calculate its age-standardised mortality rate, but it does give the number of person-years in each age category with which it used to make its calculation. From a person-years value it is easy to calculate the population that it is using in its dataset (as there are 31 days in May and 365 days in a year). Performing this calculation and adding up all of the vaccinated and unvaccinated, and including all age groups (i.e., everyone over 18) gives us a total of approximately 35 million used in the ONS data for deaths by vaccination status. This understates the population of England significantly – even the official count of the population by the ONS gives an estimate of around 44.5 million aged over 18, while the NIMS estimate of the population aged over 18 is just under 51 million.
This makes me question the validity of the ONS data. If we assume that the problem is only with the population estimate and not the actual deaths count we can calculate an independent estimate of the mortality rate per 100,000 person-years using official estimates of the population of England by age range. The two fairly reasonable estimates of the population of England are from the ONS and NIMS (the immunisation service of the U.K.). The ONS estimate of the population of England is a little suspect because its estimate is, for many age ranges, lower than the population that has actually been vaccinated – so that leaves the NIMS estimate of England’s population.
In earlier posts I discussed how it appears that those closest to death weren’t being vaccinated, making it look as though the unvaccinated had a higher mortality rate when the vaccines were first rolled out, and a similar effect is seen in the data for each successive dose. In order to remove this effect I’ll present data for ‘any dose’ versus unvaccinated, rather than splitting it out by number of doses given.
I’ve done this calculation – it shows that there are higher death rates in the triple-vaccinated compared with the unvaccinated and generally even higher death rates in the single and double vaccinated. We also see even higher death rates in the three weeks after vaccination – this is surprising because earlier data didn’t show such high rates. It is possible that we’re seeing an interaction between vaccination and existing immunity or possibly concurrent asymptomatic infection which wasn’t seen previously.
Here’s the same graph as I presented earlier, but using NIMS population estimates:
The ONS data are interesting because they also include data on non-Covid deaths by vaccination status – here are those data, again using the NIMS population estimate:
A particular point of note about the Covid deaths versus non-Covid deaths charts above is the X-axis scale:
- For the deaths with Covid the mortality rate per 100,000 person-years is below 10 for all those aged under 70, and the difference in magnitude of the vaccinated versus unvaccinated is around 3-4 (larger for those aged over 70) – this is a low number and could be considered as being relatively unimportant.
- However, the additional deaths not with Covid in the vaccine group is significant – we see over double the mortality rate for those aged under 50, and a near doubling for those aged 50-70. This level of increase is frighteningly large.
These data aren’t conclusive proof that the vaccines are killing people, but they certainly suggest that something odd is going on. Recently, there have also been reports from the ONS of unusually high deaths since the start of 2022 that can’t be explained by Covid. You’d imagine that this would herald some rigorous scientific research to identify if the vaccines might explain some of the excess deaths, but they’re not even on the list of ‘likely candidates’. Frankly, I find it astounding that the U.K. Government doesn’t really know how many people are in the country, and thus that estimates of the number of unvaccinated vary so greatly. This problem could have been eliminated if we had done proper research into the impact of the vaccines. It was absolutely clear 15 months ago that we needed robust prospective matched-cohort longitudinal studies into the impact of the vaccines – it is even more clear now that not doing these studies was a great mistake that may have cost lives.
But, of course, if the vaccines are to blame then governments worldwide will be very reluctant to explore further, given that it was the same governments that ‘encouraged’ (using psychological techniques to shame and otherwise cajole people into getting vaccinated) vaccination in the first place; it might be considered in their interests to look the other way.
Amanuensis is an ex-academic and senior Government scientist. He blogs at Bartram’s Folly, where this article first appeared.