Fact Check: Numbers Only Part Of Reason Triple-Vaccinated Account For 9 Of 10 COVID Deaths In England Over Last Year

Fact Check

  • by: Ed Payne
Fact Check: Numbers Only Part Of Reason Triple-Vaccinated Account For 9 Of 10 COVID Deaths In England Over Last Year Mostly Vaxxed

Did the United Kingdom publish a report that shows individuals fully/triple-vaccinated against the coronavirus account for nine in every 10 COVID-19 deaths in England over the past year? That's true, but simple statistics don't tell the full story: While the U.K. Office of National Statistics states that the figures for full and triple-vaccination status are correct, "When most of the population is vaccinated, most deaths are in vaccinated people," the Office of National Statistics told Lead Stories.

The claim appeared in an article (archived here) published by The Exposé on August 27, 2022, under the title "UK Gov. confirms 9 in every 10 COVID Deaths over the last year have been among the Fully/Triple Vaccinated." It opened:

Official figures published by the UK Government reveal the fully/triple vaccinated population have accounted for over 9 in every 10 Covid-19 deaths in England over the past year, 91% of all Covid-19 deaths since the beginning of 2022, and 94% of all Covid-19 deaths since the beginning of April 2022.

This is what the article looked like on The Exposé website at the time of writing:

Teh Expose.png

(Source: Exposé screenshot taken on Tue Oct 4 17:56:30 2022 UTC)

The article could also be found on social media, including this Instagram post:

image.png

(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Tue Oct 4 18:20:03 2022 UTC)

Deaths of fully and triple-vaccinated

In making its claims, The Exposé cites a July 6, 2022, "Deaths by Vaccination Status" report 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 nine in every 10 coronavirus deaths are among individuals fully and triple-vaccinated against the virus:

When most of the population is vaccinated, most deaths are in vaccinated people.

In England, 76.3 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, according to Our World in Data. Additional details on vaccination in England are available on the national coronavirus website.

In a September 13, 2022, email to Lead Stories, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), 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.

In the executive summary of the September 1, 2022, COVID-19 vaccine surveillance report, the UKHSA said, "Rigorous clinical trials have been undertaken to understand the immune response, safety profile and efficacy of these vaccines":

As with all vaccines, the safety of COVID-19 vaccines is continuously being monitored by the MHRA. They conclude that overall, the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines outweigh any potential risks.

Lead Stories previously has debunked several stories by The Exposé: Collected here are those carrying COVID misinformation.

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.


  Ed Payne

Ed Payne is a staff writer at Lead Stories. He is an Emmy Award-winning journalist as part of CNN’s coverage of 9/11. Ed worked at CNN for nearly 24 years with the CNN Radio Network and CNN Digital. Most recently, he was a Digital Senior Producer for Gray Television’s Digital Content Center, the company’s digital news hub for 100+ TV stations. Ed also worked as a writer and editor for WebMD. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, Ed is the author of two children’s book series: “The Daily Rounds of a Hound” and “Vail’s Tales.” 

Read more about or contact Ed Payne

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