See this update about this work.
In our previous report led by Martin Neil, we showed that ONS England data from November did NOT support vaccine efficacy claims once we adjust for obvious anomalies in the ONS data. Some, including the ONS themselves in their December report, imply that our conclusions were wrong because the anomalies we identified are caused by the so-called "healthy vaccinee" effect.
We examined the new ONS data and found NO evidence to support this claim. We have therefore produced a new and significantly revised report with our updated analysis.
The healthy vaccinee effect is the hypothesis that people closer to death are too ill to be vaccinated and so become concentrated in a shrinking unvaccinated population, thus increasing the group’s mortality rate. This hypothesis to explain their anomalous data is stated on Page 5 of the ONS report:
Page 5: “The all-cause ASMRs for the year-to-date were lower in the first three weeks after a vaccine dose than in subsequent weeks after that dose. This could be because of a “healthy vaccinee effect” where people who are ill (either due to COVID-19 or another relevant illness) are likely to delay vaccination. Therefore, the people who have been recently vaccinated are, in the short term, in better health than the general population.”
However, this not only contradicts NHS guidance report ("Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation: advice on priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination", Page 3), which states:
but is also contradicted by ONS on page 8 of their own report:
Page 8: "…the vaccination roll-out was also prioritised by health status of individuals, with the extremely clinically vulnerable and those with underlying health conditions being vaccinated earlier…”
If the ONS hypothesis was correct then we would see:
a) The percentage of the unvaccinated in poor health rise as vaccine rollout progresses
b) A steady non-Covid mortality rate among the unhealthy (because they are dying at same rate as they always have done).
To support their claim the ONS released the percentage of 70-79 age group with "very poor" health in each vaccination category. Oddly, the vaccinated population contains a higher percentage of those in very poor health and this increases over time. Surprisingly the unvaccinated population has the LOWEST concentration of the unhealthy and the percentage declines over time:
In this unhealthy sub-population we found the non-Covid mortality rate for the unvaccinated is HIGHER than for the vaccinated. Both rates should be equivalent Again, we see unnatural spikes in non-Covid mortality just after vaccine roll out as seen before in whole population:
Therefore, those in poorest health were NOT more likely to remain unvaccinated. Also, there is a rise in non-Covid mortality, coincidental with vaccine rollout that is not only seen in the population as a whole but is also seen in those with the poorest health.
We conclude that the "healthy vaccine effect" cannot explain the anomalies we discovered in the ONS data and believe it is up to advocates for this hypothesis to now prove their case using the released data.
Martin Neil, Norman Fenton, Joel Smalley, Clare Craig, Joshua Guetzkow, Scott McLachlan, Jonathan Engler, Dan Russell and Jessica Rose (2021), “Official mortality data for England suggest systematic miscategorisation of vaccine status and uncertain effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccination”, (this is a significantly revised version of http://dx.doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.14176.20483)
Full url: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/357778435_Official_mortality_data_for_England_suggest_systematic_miscategorisation_of_vaccine_status_and_uncertain_effectiveness_of_Covid-19_vaccination