You asked

Please provide me with the following information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 with regard to data capture and analysis of Covid-19 vaccination programme.

  • The criteria used by the Office for National Statistics to record and analyse post-vaccination deaths in the UK.

We said

Thank you for your enquiry.

We are responsible for the production of mortality data for England and Wales. For Scotland and Northern Ireland data you will need to contact National Records of Scotland and Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Centre, respectively, as we do not hold information for these countries.

Our mortality data is taken from the information provided on death certificates.

The death certificate used in England and Wales is compatible with that recommended by WHO. It is set out in two parts. Part I gives the condition or sequence of conditions leading directly to death, while Part II gives details of any associated conditions that contributed to the death but are not part of the causal sequence.

When ONS receive the data, we use computer algorithms to apply rules which increase the consistency and improve the international and temporal comparability of mortality statistics. Therefore, we can only report on what is recorded on the death certificate during this process. More information about the information included on the death certificate and our death registration process can be found in our mortality statistics user guide, accessible via the following link: User Guide to Mortality Statistics.

For deaths involving an adverse reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine, we will now use the recently implemented WHO International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision. ICD-10 code.

U12.9 COVID-19 vaccines causing adverse effects in therapeutic use, unspecified


This code is to be used as an external cause code (i.e. as a sub category under Y59, "Other and unspecified vaccines and biological substances"). In addition to this, a code from another chapter of the classification should be used indicating the nature of the adverse effect.

Correct administration of COVID-19 vaccine in prophylactic therapeutic use as the cause of any adverse effect.

In case it is of interest, please see the following data we have published regarding this topic:

You can find the number of deaths involving COVID-19 in table 12 of our Monthly Mortality Analysis, these include figures for deaths involving adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccination. There are currently 0 deaths registered with the aligning ICD codes for this. However, should this change, they will be updated in this table.

We are currently developing our analytical plans with an intention to publish detailed vaccination statistics soon. Once we have finalised these plans a publication date will be announced on our Release Calendar.

If you would like to discuss your query further, please contact