The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is the UK’s largest independent producer of official statistics. It is the executive office of the UK Statistics Authority, responsible for safeguarding the production and publication of official statistics which serve the public good.
The February release of the ONS data on all deaths by vaccination status between 1 January, 2021 and 31 December, 2021, is disturbing. Looking at the data taken from table 4 of the ONS report, it reveals the monthly age-standardised mortality rates, per100,000 person-years in England for the unvaccinated and the vaccinated (after 21 days of the first dose of a Covid vaccine). The age-standardized mortality rate (ASMR), as defined by the WHO, ‘is a weighted average of the age-specific mortality rates per 100 000 persons, where the weights are the proportions of persons in the corresponding age groups.’ ASMRs are used to allow for comparisons to be made between populations which contain different overall population sizes and proportions of people of different ages. More importantly, it eliminates age as a confounding factor.