​FOI Ref: FOI/2021/2669

You asked

Please supply the total number of deaths that have occured within 28 days of having a COVID-19 vaccine, from the start of the vaccine rollout, to date.

Please supply the data for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland individually.

We said

Thank you for your enquiry.

National Records Scotland (NRS) and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) are responsible for statistics pertaining to Scotland and Northern Ireland. Therefore, we do not hold the requested data for these two countries. Should you wish to obtain this data for Scotland and Northern Ireland, NRS and NISRA can be contacted at foi@nrscotland.gov.uk and info@nisra.gov.uk respectively.

We are currently working on analysis on a number of aspects of the relationship between COVID-19 vaccination and mortality, including:

  • Information regarding deaths after 28 days of vaccination, from any cause.

  • Information regarding deaths involving or due to COVID-19 after receiving COVID-19 vaccination.

This requires complex analysis linking vaccination records to death registrations. The release of the findings of this ongoing programme of research prior to completion would jeopardise the research project by potentially putting misleading data into the public domain, as the analysis would not be complete nor quality assured. In turn, this would harm our reputation as a producer of reliable, quality-assured, official statistics. If we were to release inaccurate or misleading data regarding this topic, the trust that the government and the public place in our research and statistics could be severely undermined, which would directly jeopardise our functions.

Therefore, the requested information is exempt under Section 22A (b)(i) and (b)(iii), whereby the information requested was obtained in the course of conducting an ongoing programme of research, which we have a view to publish, and release prior to our planned schedule would prejudice the research programme itself and the organisation conducting the research.

This exemption is subject to a public interest test. We recognise the desirability of information being freely available and this is considered by ONS when publication schedules are set in accordance with the Code of Practice for Statistics. The need for timely data must be balanced against the practicalities of applying statistical skill and judgement to produce the high quality, assured data needed to inform decision-making, which requires time and space. If this balance is incorrectly applied, then we run the risk of decisions being based on inaccurate data, which is not in the public interest. This will have an impact on public trust in official statistics in a time when the accuracy of official statistics is more important to the public than ever before. This is particularly important given the public health implications of data surrounding the COVID-19 vaccines.

The provisional release date for these publications is September 2021. Once publication dates are finalised, they will be announced on our Release Calendar.

You may find the following information useful:

You can find the number of deaths involving COVID-19 (not restricted to first or second vaccination) in table 12 of our Monthly Mortality Analysis dataset, these include figures for deaths involving adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccination. There are currently 4 deaths registered with the aligning ICD-10 codes for this (U12.9). The latest data available is June 2021. However, should this change, they will be updated in this table. This publication is due to be updated in August 2021.