Annual All-Cause Mortality Rate in Germany and Japan (2005 to 2022) with Focus on the COVID-19 Pandemic: Hypothesis and Trend Analyses‘ is a letter in the journal Medicine and Clinical Science by Hagen Scherb and Keiji Hayashi, comparing mortality trends across these two “highly industrialised countries, which have large and ageing populations in common”. It’s the first piece I know of to look closely at pandemic-era mortality trends in Japan – a country which provides a useful control on many fronts, because it took a relatively relaxed approach to non-pharmaceutical interventions, like many other Asian jurisdictions never saw much Covid mortality, and yet since autumn 2021 has a substantially higher vaccination rate than Germany.
This will shock you, but the results don’t look great for the vaccines.
First, the less interesting part of their analysis, namely death trends in Germany:
The first year of the pandemic coincided with slightly elevated mortality firmly within the bounds of prior trends, while the years of mass vaccination, 2021 and 2022, saw an anomalous 48,617 and 66,528 excess deaths respectively. This is roughly equal to the official Covid death tally for these years, but the analysis of Kuhbandner and Reitzner (recently published in Cureus) indicates that the virus cannot explain nearly all of them. Both the timing and the age-stratified data strongly suggest that a substantial number must be related to vaccination.
Particular interest thus attaches to Japan as a comparison case: