You asked

​​Could you please send me influenza data regarding deaths from influenza from 2018 2019 and 2020.

We said

Thank you for your enquiry.

Deaths involving influenza for England and Wales are available from 2013 to 2019 on our NOMIS Webservice using ICD-10 code J09-J11. For influenza and Pneumonia, we use ICD-10 code J09 – J18.


Influenza and Pneumonia

Weekly deaths for 2020 involving Influenza and Pneumonia deaths are published as part of our Deaths Registered Weekly publication. we use the term "due to influenza and pneumonia" when referring only to deaths where that illness was recorded as the underlying cause of death. we use the term "involving influenza and pneumonia" when referring to deaths that had that illness mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, whether as an underlying cause or not.

Mortality data showing deaths from influenza separately to pneumonia in 2020 will be available once data for 2020 has been finalised in the summer of 2021. As such, this information is considered exempt under Section 22(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, whereby information is exempt from release if there is a view to publish the information in the future. Furthermore, as a central government department and producer of official statistics, we need to have the freedom to be able to determine our own publication timetables. This is to allow us to deal with the necessary preparation, administration and context of publications. It would be unreasonable to consider disclosure when to do so would undermine our functions.

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. If this balance is incorrectly applied, then we run the risk of decisions being based on inaccurate data which is arguably not in the public interest. This will have an impact on public trust in official statistics in a time when accuracy of official statistics is more important to the public than ever before.