Please note this page has been updated to improve the clarity of our response.
FOI Ref: FOI/2021/3099
Please provide the following information:
How are the statistics for compiling the deaths and hospitalisations for the vaccinated versus the unvaccinated calculated in relation to Covid 19/SARS-CoV-2 vaccines – specifically, what counts as an unvaccinated death?
For example, the CDC in the USA has stated that it counts the death of a person who was vaccinated less than 14 days prior to their death as being unvaccinated. So, anyone dying within 2 weeks of having had one or more of the Covid 19/SARS-CoV-2 jabs is counted as an unvaccinated person.
Please note that I am not asking for figures for deaths from vaccinated or unvaccinated people - I simply want to know what you, or whichever relevant government organisation is involved with compiling the data, class as an 'unvaccinated' death. I would expect, therefore, that given the simplicity of subject of my request, it is not feasible that you or the relevant government organisation would not have the information to respond fully to this request.
Thank you for your enquiry.
Both the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) produce data on deaths by vaccination status. We explain below how we define COVID-19 vaccination status for people who have died.
Please note that the UKHSA (formerly known as Public Health England) uses a slightly different definition, based on the testing data. Our method is solely based on vaccination data linked to death registration.
In our mortality statistics, someone is considered to be 'unvaccinated' if they have not received any doses of the COVID-19 vaccination.
We have produced analysis on deaths involving COVID-19 or deaths from all causes after receipt of the COVID-19 vaccination, available via the following link: Deaths by vaccination status, England. This is an analysis of deaths involving COVID-19 by vaccination status that occurred between 1 January and 31 October 2021 in England.
In this analysis, following values are used when defining whether the deceased is vaccinated:
Vaccinated with the first dose only, date of death/last day of week is within 21 days of vaccination
Vaccinated with the first dose only, date of death/last day of week is 21 days or more after vaccination
Vaccinated with both the first and second dose, date of death/last day
Therefore, our definition for deaths in the 'unvaccinated' category would be any death that does not fall into the other three categories. This would be deaths where someone has not received any doses of the COVID-19 vaccination.
The other three categories used are:
- Deaths where the person was vaccinated with only the first dose and the date of death is within 21 days
- Deaths where the person was vaccinated with only the first dose and the date of death exceeds 21 days
- Deaths where the person was vaccinated with the first and the second dose
For further information on our methodology and guidance in regards to counting deaths by vaccination status please see our Quality and Methodology publication: Weekly COVID-19 age-standardised mortality rates by vaccination status, England: methodology.
For further information, please contact Health.Data@ons.gov.uk.