A post on the Daily Exposé on Thursday showed concerning statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicating that deaths among teenagers over the summer have increased significantly on the previous year, coinciding with the vaccine roll-out.
I dug into the data a bit and I have to say I agree that it looks worrying. I’ve plotted above the deaths among 15-19 year-olds by week for 2020 and 2021. (Unfortunately the equivalent data isn’t available for previous years as prior to 2020 the breakdown was into 1-14 and 15-44 year-olds.)
The marked divergence around week 23 broadly corresponds to when the vaccination programme among the age group was being ramped up, as indicated below.
Between weeks 23 and 37 in 2021 there have been 252 deaths among 15-19 year-olds in England and Wales. This compares to 162 in the same period in 2020, an increase of 90 or 56%. That’s a lot, and deserves some kind of explanation.
Importantly, there is no similar rise among younger children aged 1-14, as the plot below shows. Interestingly, 2020 was a low-mortality year for this age group, presumably due to fewer deaths due to road accidents and such like. 2021 has had lower mortality again, illustrating how little threat COVID-19 is to children.