Fully vaccinated people account for 1.2% of England’s Covid-19 deaths

ONS figures show 51,281 Covid deaths between January and July, with 458 dying at least 21 days after second dose

People who were fully vaccinated accounted for just 1.2% of all deaths involving Covid-19 in England in the first seven months of this year.

The figures, published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), have been seized on as proof of the success of the vaccine programme.

The figures show a total of 51,281 deaths involving Covid-19 in England between 2 January and 2 July, of which 38,964 were of unvaccinated people.

Of the total Covid-related deaths, 458 (about 0.9%) were of people who died at least 21 days after their second vaccine dose. Just 256 deaths (0.5%) were of people who were fully vaccinated and had their first positive PCR test at least 14 days after their second dose.

No vaccine is 100% effective against Covid-19, and health authorities have made it clear that some deaths of vaccinated individuals are to be expected. Public Health England (PHE) has estimated that two-dose effectiveness against hospital admission with infections from the Delta variant – which is now the UK’s dominant strain – has been around 94%.

However, the figures on Monday underlined that the risk of death involving Covid-19 is consistently lower for people who have received two doses compared with one dose or no vaccination at all.

Age-standardised mortality rates for deaths involving #COVID19 are consistently lower for people who have received two vaccinations https://t.co/EkaAS1MNTT pic.twitter.com/3EpkfaNsOl

— Office for National Statistics (ONS) (@ONS) September 13, 2021

A detailed breakdown of data was made available for 252 of the 256 people who died after having received both jabs and who first tested positive at least 14 days after the second dose. They are what the ONS describes as “breakthrough” deaths.

It shows that just over three-quarters of these deaths (76.6%) occurred in those who were clinically extremely vulnerable – a slightly higher proportion than for other Covid-19 deaths (74.5%) and deaths not involving Covid-19 (69.7%).

Of the breakthrough deaths, 61.1% occurred in males, which is higher than for other Covid-19 deaths (52.2%) and deaths not involving Covid-19 (48.5%), while 13% were among people who were immunocompromised.

Chart

Experts emphasised the importance of context in terms of the data, which covered a period when the seven-day average daily UK deaths varied between six and more than 1,200 per day. Trends were increasing at the end of the ONS study period, when rates were about 25 per day, while daily death rates are now consistently over 100 per day.

Dr Duncan Robertson, a data analyst at Loughborough University who has been focusing on Covid-19 modelling and analysis, said: “By definition, as the proportion of vaccinated people increases, fewer remain in the unvaccinated category. In the extreme, if everyone were vaccinated, 100% of deaths would be of vaccinated people, just as before the vaccine rollout, 0% of deaths would be of vaccinated people.”

But he added: “What is clear from the ONS data is the significance of being fully vaccinated – full vaccination offers very high – but not perfect - protection against death, where only having a first dose offers significantly less protection.”

The PNS data came days after Public Health England published figures showing the vaccination status of individuals who were infected, who were hospitalised, and who died.

“While figures for protection against infection needs careful interpretation, particularly in the estimates of population in each age category, it is clear that vaccine protection against death is very high after the second dose,” added Dr Robertson, who stressed that work still needed to be done to ensure that vaccinations reach those in cohorts where there had already been significant uptake.

There are about 1 million over-60s who are not fully vaccinated, he pointed out. Only two-thirds of black over-50s have been vaccinated compared with more than 9 in 10 white over-50s. People are four times more likely to not be fully vaccinated if they live in the most deprived areas, compared with those living in the least deprived areas.

Contributor

Ben Quinn

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Study reveals low Covid jab take-up among black people in England
Over-70s of black African heritage 7.4 times more likely not to have had first dose than white people, says ONS

Haroon Siddique and Aamna Mohdin

29, Mar, 2021 @12:12 PM

Article image
Covid mortality in England still higher for some ethnic minorities, study finds
People from Bangladeshi and Pakistani backgrounds faring worse than black people in second wave of pandemic

Natalie Grover

09, Feb, 2021 @6:00 AM

Article image
As UK nears zero Covid deaths, there’s good reason for optimism
Analysis: the vaccine strategy and staggered easing of restrictions have worked well. The next step is crucial

Ian Sample Science editor

04, May, 2021 @4:54 PM

Article image
UK to spend £30m on trials infecting young people to hasten Covid vaccine
London-based hVivo to take part in world’s first coronavirus ‘challenge trials’

Natalie Grover

20, Oct, 2020 @11:09 AM

Article image
Long Covid alarm as 21% report symptoms after five weeks
Official UK data suggests nearly 10% still have symptoms 12 weeks after infection

Nicola Davis

16, Dec, 2020 @3:55 PM

Article image
Black and south Asian people in UK urged to get jabs to cut higher Covid death rates
Disparity with white people who have lower death rate relative to infection rate suspected to be due to slower vaccine uptake

Ian Sample Science editor

03, Dec, 2021 @6:00 AM

Article image
UK orders extra Covid vaccines for autumn 2022 booster campaign
Pfizer reportedly asked to supply 35m more doses, with final go-ahead for this year’s programme still awaited

Andrew Sparrow Political correspondent

11, Aug, 2021 @9:51 AM

Article image
Volunteers hired for clinical trial of Covid vaccine made in Scotland
Valneva hopes to seek approval as soon as summer, paving way for potential booster shots in autumn

Ian Sample Science editor

25, Apr, 2021 @11:01 PM

Article image
England's Covid vaccine strategy will 'unravel' unless inequalities addressed, say experts
Data reveals huge disparities between vaccination take-up rates in richer and poorer areas nearby

Niamh McIntyre, Pamela Duncan and Dan Sabbagh

14, Mar, 2021 @10:25 AM

Article image
What does Moderna's Covid jab mean for the UK vaccine rollout?
US shot is as effective as existing jabs and is easier to store than Pfizer’s – but it is not cheap

Natalie Grover and Nicola Davis

07, Apr, 2021 @7:05 PM