Excess deaths

Thank you for your email on excess deaths.

I understand your concerns when you are looking at the numbers. ONS data published in August 2023 show that people who have had a Covid-19 vaccine have a lower mortality rate than those who have not been vaccinated. Although it is true to say that a high number of people who were vaccinated appear in the excess death population, when 93.6 per cent of the population have had at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, there will be a high number of vaccinated people in the excess death numbers. This is prevalence, not causality. It is important to look at the causes of excess deaths and to tackle them.

As a reply to a public petition “Investigate UK excess deaths not related to Covid” the Government has given the following answer: “Our analysis suggests that it is likely that a combination of factors has contributed to an increase in the number of non-Covid excess deaths in the latter part of 2022, including high flu prevalence and health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. There are a range of organisations reviewing the registered death figures. These produce different estimates of excess deaths based on different methodologies and areas covered.” You can read more about this here.

The Government is taking steps to reduce excess deaths, including those which involve Covid-19. Vaccines remain the first line of defence against Covid-19. Antivirals and other treatments play a crucial role in protecting patients who become infected with Covid-19, particularly those for whom the vaccine may be less effective such as the immunosuppressed. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) followed rigorous procedures to ensure the vaccines met the necessary high standards in safety and efficacy. The MHRA is one of the most respected regulators in the world and I welcome that the World Health Organisation not only backed its approach, but also commended its work. Going forward, I strongly encourage eligible people to get their booster jab and their flu jab to protect themselves, their loved ones and the NHS.

The Government intends to publish a Major Conditions Strategy to tackle conditions that contribute most to morbidity and mortality across the population in England including: cancers; cardiovascular disease, including stroke and diabetes; chronic respiratory diseases; dementia; mental ill health; and musculoskeletal conditions.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.