Throughout the coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has been committed to providing the public, businesses, and policymakers with the best possible information to inform the ongoing response.
Meeting the need for rapid and real-time data, we introduced new surveys, used new data sources, and published new cross-cutting analysis in response to demands for trustworthy and up-to-date statistics.
To be flexible and responsive to new or urgent requirements, we have kept our work under review and made use of new data sources as they became available.
In late May 2022 (Update: please see latest statement on census release plans) we plan to publish the first results from Census 2021 and the most comprehensive quality assurance work ever is well underway to ensure the statistics we produce will be of high quality and benefit for all.
In exceptional circumstances and under the strictest terms, the National Statistician can consider early internal use of preliminary information collected in the census by ONS statisticians where there is an essential need to understand a topic and a high impact for public good.
To help with understanding of the coronavirus pandemic, the National Statistician has approved a request to help update important estimates of vaccination rates by occupation in England by using a preliminary and limited subset of information collected in Census 2021 to update information on occupation in our Public Health Data Asset (PHDA). The ONS PHDA is a unique linked dataset combining the 2011 Census, the General Practice Extraction Service (GPES) data for pandemic planning and research, and the Hospital Episode Statistics (HES). Other uses of the PHDA include updating ethnic contrasts in deaths involving coronavirus, vaccination rates by sociodemographic characteristic and occupation and deaths involving COVID-19 by vaccination status.
Previous estimates of vaccination rate by occupation were subject to significant uncertainty because of the likelihood of people changing occupation over the last decade. The analysis had been limited to people aged from 40 to 64 years who were considered the least likely to have changed occupations and would have been adults at Census 2011. The new analysis has been extended to people aged from 18 to 64 years enumerated at Census 2011 in England and contained in the PHDA but with updated occupational information on those individuals from Census 2021.
As set out in earlier statements Provision of early management information by the ONS to inform operational decision-making for the public good during the coronavirus pandemic - Office for National Statistics, in certain exceptional circumstances, the National Statistician can give authority to share analysis with policymakers before publication when it is important do so for operational planning and decision-making on exceptional grounds. At all times, we havecomplied with important principles around proportionality, ethical oversight, security, and the need for regular reviews.
This vaccination analysis was shared with policymakers and, in line with our commitment to make it available as soon as possible afterwards for the benefit of all our users, you can find it in Coronavirus and vaccination rates in people aged 18 to 64 years by occupation, England: 31 December 2021.
All data produced have been anonymised and aggregated so no individuals are identifiable, in line with data protection regulations.
Making this analysis available to all, using the most up-to-date sources at the earliest opportunity, ensures it will have the highest value in the exceptional circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic. It does not impact on the ongoing processing and quality assurance of Census 2021 data, which we announced last year here https://blog.ons.gov.uk/2021/10/12/census-2021-the-count-is-done-the-data-is-in-so-what-happens-next/].
This arrangement is in line with guidance published by the Office for Statistics Regulation.