Did the United Kingdom publish reports that show individuals triple-vaccinated against the coronavirus account for 91% of the COVID-19 deaths in the country through 2022? Do these reports further show that over 24,000 "unexplained" excess deaths have occurred since April 2022? No, that's not true: While the U.K. Office of National Statistics states that the figures for triple-vaccination status and associated deaths are correct, the numbers were stripped of crucial context about vaccine breakthrough infection and the demographics of those prioritized for vaccination. The true number of unexplained deaths in the UK is a tiny fraction of what is claimed.
The claims appeared in an article (archived here) published by The Exposé on September 18, 2022 with the title "Whilst they knew you were mourning the Queen's death, the UK Gov. quietly published reports confirming the Triple Vaccinated account for 91% of COVID Deaths throughout 2022 & there have been over 24k "unexplained" Excess Deaths since April." The article opened:
Reports quietly published by the UK Government whilst they knew the majority of the public were either mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth II, or distracted by the 24/7 news coverage surrounding her majesty's death, shockingly reveal the following -
- There have been 24,005 excess deaths in England & Wales since April and mortality rates per 100,000 are highest among the vaccinated in all age groups suggesting the Covid-19 vaccine may be to blame;
This is what the article looked like on The Exposé website at the time of writing:
(Source: Exposé screenshot taken on Tue Sep 20 15:14:23 2022 UTC)
Deaths of triple-vaccinated
In making its claims, The Exposé cites "Deaths by Vaccination Status" data from England and Wales released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). In a September 20, 2022 email to Lead Stories, an ONS spokesperson said there's a simple explanation why 91% of coronavirus deaths are among individuals triple and quadruple-vaccinated against the virus:
When most of the population is vaccinated, most deaths are in vaccinated people. People die all the time, of all causes, regardless of vaccination status of any kind.
In England, 76.2% of the population is fully vaccinated, according to Our World in Data. That number is 78.3% in Wales. Additional details on vaccination in the United Kingdom are available on the national coronavirus website.
In a September 13, 2022 email to Lead Stories, the UK Health Security Agency, the British government's public health agency, echoed the ONS' explanation:
In the context of very high vaccine coverage in the population, even with a highly effective vaccine, it is expected that a large proportion of cases, hospitalisations and deaths would occur in vaccinated individuals, simply because a larger proportion of the population are vaccinated than unvaccinated and no vaccine is 100% effective. This is especially true because vaccination has been prioritised in individuals who are more susceptible or more at risk of severe disease. Individuals in risk groups may also be more at risk of hospitalisation or death due to non-COVID-19 causes, and thus may be hospitalised or die with COVID-19 rather than because of COVID-19.
Excess deaths and "unexplained" excess deaths
The Exposé article put the number of "unexplained" excess deaths at 24,005, but that number is far from accurate. In his September 20, 2022 email, the ONS spokesperson said excess deaths in 2022 surpassed the average for the past five years, but still total less than 4,000 -- 3,848, to be precise. A higher-than-expected number of deaths since March caused that increase, the spokesperson said. He cited several potential reasons:
Excess deaths do fluctuate over time and when looking at individual months in 2022, the number of deaths were below expected levels in January and February. It's possible we have been seeing a 'mortality displacement' effect this year, where the number of deaths is higher than average now because of below average deaths earlier in the year. Across March, April and May we saw increases in deaths due to Cardiac arrhythmias, predominantly among those aged 80 and above. Further work needs to be done to understand any link between the long-term effects of Covid and increasing cardiac deaths.
When it comes to "unexplained" excess deaths, the number is much smaller:
We publish numbers of deaths involving COVID-19 vaccines causing adverse effects in therapeutic use, unspecified (ICD10 code U12.9) in our monthly mortality analysis. There have been 45 deaths where this cause of death is ... registered from March 2020 to June 2022.
Lead Stories previously has debunked dozens of stories by The Exposé: Collected here are those carrying COVID misinformation .