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ONS claims Covid vaccines have only killed NINE Britons — but experts warn figure is ‘too low’… so what is the TRUE toll?
- Office for National Statistics counted fatalities confirmed by coroner or doctor
- Says there’s been four deaths in England, four in Scotland and one in N. Ireland
- Government says AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna have saved 112,000 lives
Just nine people in Britain have died directly from a Covid vaccine, government statisticians declared today in an attempt to squash concerns about the jabs.
The Office for National Statistics counted fatalities confirmed by either a doctor or coroner, who have to certify the cause to the ‘best of their knowledge or belief’.
For deaths where a vaccine is suspected of being one of the contributing causes of death, a lengthy investigation has to be carried out.
The ONS admitted its figure — made up of four deaths in England, four in Scotland and one in Northern Ireland — is bound to rise as more go through this process over the coming months.
But scientists today questioned the number, which does not yet take into account dozens of deaths linked to AstraZeneca’s vaccine and rare blood clots.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the UK’s drugs watchdog, says there have been 72 deaths from clots after that jab alone.
Professor Lawrence Young, a virologist from Warwick University, said the ONS’ figure seemed ‘too low, given the information from the MHRA’.
He told MailOnline it ‘highlights the need for more detailed investigation to reconcile these different estimates’.
The Government credits AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna’s jabs with saving 112,000 lives and averting 24million Covid infections.
For deaths where a vaccine is suspected of being one of the contributing causes of death, a lengthy investigation has to be carried out. Pictured, a pharmacist prepares to give out the Pfizer vaccine, which is known as Comirnaty
The proportion of Britons who had their first jab by September 26. Younger groups have only recently been invited for a vaccine
Rigorous trials have shown the vaccines to be completely safe for the vast majority of people, including children.
But there is a very small risk of side effects, which in an even smaller number of patients can be deadly.
Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines have been linked to heart inflammation known as myocarditis, particularly in young people.
Uptake of coronavirus vaccines in older teenagers appears to have stalled already, according to UK Government figures.
Only around 55 per cent of 16 and 17-year-olds in England had their first dose by September 26, latest data shows, a number which had barely risen in the previous three weeks.
The analysis was revealed in a weekly report by the new UK Health Security Agency, which took over axed Public Health England’s pandemic duties.
It showed that uptake in the age group was sitting at about 20 per cent at the start of August.
This shot up to 50 per cent in the three weeks after the roll-out was expanded to all older teenagers on August 19.
But the progress appears to have stalled in recent weeks, rising just five or so per cent in September.
All age groups have seen a natural stagnation in uptake, with the threshold being much higher in older age groups who are most susceptible to getting severe Covid. For example, the ceiling was about 90 per cent in the over-70s and 80 per cent in people over the age of 50.
Experts said they were not necessarily surprised by the plateau. Cambridge University epidemiologist Dr Raghib Ali told MailOnline the enthusiasm for jabs in older teenagers was lower because so many have already had Covid ‘so don’t feel they need to get vaccinated’.
Britain’s medicines regulator says myocarditis has occurred in about one in 135,000 Britons given an mRNA vaccine.
Most cases are mild and treatable within a few days but the condition is known to be more common in children and young adults, affecting about one in 10,000.
The long-term effects of this heart inflammation are still not known.
AstraZeneca’s jab, which relies on more traditional technology to the other two vaccines, is associated with blood clots.
The MHRA estimates one in 66,000 Britons has suffered the disorder, which can cause a deadly blockage in the brain, after their first dose of AZ.
It is more common in younger people — one in 48,000 for under-50s — which is why it has been restricted in lower age groups, who are at a lower risk of Covid itself.
The MHRA says there have been 72 reported deaths from that specific condition alone in the UK, six of which occurred after the second dose.
It puts the fatality rate at 17 per cent.
The regulator lists the cases which it suspects were the result of the vaccines but the ONS only records instances where an investigation has confirmed the cause.
Professor Lawrence said that this process ‘is not straight forward’ because it requires ‘detailed review of death certificates, autopsy (if available) and medical records.’
He added: ‘This is further complicated in cases where the deceased had one or more underlying illnesses.’
On top of this, coroners nationwide have faced a backlog of inquests due to Covid-related deaths and lockdowns.
A coroner investigates all sudden and unexplained deaths so that a death certificate can be issued.
In a blog post addressing vaccine safety concerns today, the ONS admitted its vaccine-induced death toll was ‘likely to rise as numbers feed through following delays’.
The agency added that the actual number of vaccine deaths will be ‘far lower’ than the larger figure reported in the MHRA’s ‘yellow card’ system.
The scheme monitors all deaths and conditions suffered by people in the weeks and months after getting their vaccine.
It has recorded 1,645 deaths post-vaccination, up until September 8. That figure has been seized upon by anti-vaxx groups.
The ONS says that tally is a ‘big overestimate’ because it includes cases that have not been properly investigated.
The MHRA says as much in its guidelines. ‘It is very important to note that a Yellow Card report does not necessarily mean the vaccine caused that reaction or event’.
‘Many… do not have any relation to the vaccine or medicine and it is often coincidental that they both occurred around the same time.’
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