This paper has been updated and the new version can be found here: Official mortality data for England suggest systematic miscategorisation of vaccine status and uncertain effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccination
UPDATED WITH ONS DECEMBER DATA RELEASE & HEALTHY VACCINEE/MORIBUND ANALYSIS
The risk/benefit of Covid vaccines is arguably most accurately measured by an all-cause mortality rate comparison of vaccinated against unvaccinated, since it not only avoids most confounders relating to case definition but also fulfils the WHO/CDC definition of “vaccine effectiveness” for mortality. We examine the latest UK ONS vaccine mortality surveillance report which provides the necessary information to monitor this crucial comparison over time. At first glance the ONS data suggest that, in each of the older age groups, all-cause mortality is lower in the vaccinated than the unvaccinated. Despite this apparent evidence to support vaccine effectiveness-at least for the older age groups-on closer inspection of this data, this conclusion is cast into doubt because of a range of fundamental inconsistencies and anomalies in the data. Whatever the explanations for the observed data, it is clear that it is both unreliable and misleading. While socio-demographical and behavioural differences between vaccinated and unvaccinated have been proposed as possible explanations, there is no evidence to support any of these. By Occam’s razor we believe the most likely explanations are systemic miscategorisation of deaths between the different categories of unvaccinated and vaccinated; delayed or non-reporting of vaccinations; systemic underestimation of the proportion of unvaccinated; and/or incorrect population selection for Covid deaths.