Friday 24 December 2021

New ONS report on deaths by vaccination: serious anomalies and further obfuscation

See this update about this work.

The latest ONS report on deaths by vaccination status has serious anomalies (as in their previous report which we analysed in this paper). The most obvious one is that their analysis claims age standardized NON-COVID mortality rate is TWICE as high in the unvaccinated as the vaccinated:


This is not credible. If it were really true then this would mean either 

a) healthier people got vaccinated and/or very sick people did not get vaccinated. But then this would mean that all ONS estimates of vaccine effectiveness are massively exaggerated due to the confounding effect of prior health status; or 

b) the COVID vaccines are full of magic fairy dust that cures non-Covid illness and increases your life expectancy

The report does indeed claim that a) is true (Page 5). But this contradicts both the NHS Guidelines (which are explicit in ensuring that the most at-risk and vulnerable get priority for vaccination)  and the statement on Page 1 of the report (as well as anecdotal evidence that even terminally ill patients got the vaccine early):

 And this on Page 8 of the report:

We know b) is false. So, if a) is also false then, as we claimed in our previous article, there is miscategorisation in the data; specificially, many of those dying shortly after vaccination are being classified as unvaccinated. 

But even if a) is true the effect is the same: without the necessary adjustments to the data that we applied in our article, the data is worthless in terms of evaluating the effectiveness and safety of the vaccines.

A colleague has produced an initial summary of the various anomalies in the report, and an in-depth look at the 40-49 age group here.

As the data is simply not credible, we believe this entire new report should be disregarded

It is also important to note that, if the ONS released all the raw mortality data, then we would not need to rely on the 'age standardized mortality rate' estimates at all. An explanation of the age standardized mortality rate and also how it can easily mislead people is here: 

Our previous paper (which we are in the process of updating):

Martin Neil, Norman Fenton, Joel Smalley, Clare Craig, Joshua Guetzkow, Scott McLachlan, Jonathan Engler and Jessica Rose, “Latest statistics on England mortality data suggest systematic miscategorisation of vaccine status and uncertain effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccination”,



  1. I would bet age-stratification would help reveal the elderly were prioritized, whereas the reverse happens in younger age groups. Misclassification and confounding by both contraindication and indication happening I think.

  2. Great work 👌 Thank you 👍

  3. What do you say when section 5 they claim that higher mortality in 1st dose-no-2nd group is due to a higher frailty in this group. Is it a joke ?

  4. I've looked at the source data for the ONS report (see link )
    In Table 3 for October, all cause deaths per 100,000 person years is less for the unvaccinated compared to those vaccinated <21 days since 1st dose, >21 days since 1st dose, <21 days since 2nd dose. Only those Vaccinated >21 days have a lower mortality - which could be due to the surviver confounder. We know most ill effects occur in the first 7days. If you look at the age break down in Table 7, the differences are even more shocking - the vaccinated consistently having higher mortality rates than the unvaccinated. I know the data is all over the place, but I would appreciate a comment on this. Thanks