Public Health Scotland (PHS) has announced it is no longer going to publish its Covid infection, hospitalisation and death rates by vaccination status. Purportedly this is because it is being misrepresented by “anti-vaxxers”, according to a report in the Scotsman. But a more likely explanation is because it looks so bad. Here’s the “notice of change” (there are further notices for each section going into more detail).
NOTICE OF CHANGE
From February 16th 2022, Public Health Scotland (PHS) will no longer report COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations, and deaths by vaccination status on a weekly basis. PHS will continue to provide updates from the latest scientific analyses and reports on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines. An explanation behind this decision can be found below.
Since July 2021, Public Health Scotland (PHS) have [sic] reported COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations, and deaths by vaccination status in the weekly COVID-19 statistical report. These data were first published to help monitor the impact of the vaccination programme on the pandemic, impact on the NHS, and to help understand where to prioritise vaccination delivery. While PHS has stated that the data in the report should not be used as a measure of vaccine effectiveness, PHS is aware of inappropriate use and misinterpretation of the data when taken in isolation without fully understanding the limitations described below.
Due to the increasing risk of misinterpretation from growing complexities as the COVID-19 pandemic enters its second year (as described below), PHS has taken the decision to no longer report COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations and deaths by vaccination status on a weekly basis. PHS is currently reviewing the content and frequency of reporting this information. PHS will continue to communicate up to date and high quality research on COVID-19 vaccines. Evidence suggests the COVID-19 vaccine is effective at reducing the risk of a severe outcome, such as hospitalisation when infected, however no vaccine is 100% effective and some COVID-19 hospitalisations and deaths may still occur, particularly in vulnerable populations. PHS, in collaboration with partners such as the EAVE II consortium, will continue supporting comprehensive scientific studies evaluating the risks and reasons for severe COVID-19 in vaccinated populations and will communicate its findings as and when appropriate.
In its piece explaining the change, the Scotsman points the finger at us (well, Toby – but the “promotion on social media” referred to will presumably be his tweets promoting Daily Sceptic posts):
The data has been promoted on social media by individuals including the Spectator’s associate editor Toby Young, the American right-wing opinion website, The Blaze, and anti-vaxxer American talking head Alex Berenson.