Only nine people in Britain have died directly from a Covid vaccine, government statisticians said today in an attempt to allay concerns over jabs.
The Office for National Statistics has counted deaths confirmed by a doctor or coroner, who must certify the cause to “the best of their knowledge or belief.”
For deaths where a vaccine is suspected to be one of the causes of death, a lengthy investigation must be carried out.
The ONS has admitted its figure – made up of four deaths in England, four in Scotland and one in Northern Ireland – is expected to rise as more go through this process in the coming months.
But scientists are now wondering about the number, which does not yet take into account the dozens of deaths linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine and the rare blood clots.
The Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the UK’s medicines watchdog, said there were 72 deaths from clots after that single stroke.
Professor Lawrence Young, a virologist at the University of Warwick, said the ONS figure appeared “too low, given information from the MHRA.”
He told MailOnline that this “underscores the need for a more detailed investigation to reconcile these different estimates”.
The government credits the AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna jabs with saving 112,000 lives and averting 24 million Covid infections.
For deaths where a vaccine is suspected to be one of the causes of death, a lengthy investigation must be carried out. In the photo, a pharmacist prepares to administer the Pfizer vaccine, known as Comirnaty
The proportion of Britons who had their first vaccine before September 26. Younger groups were only recently invited for a vaccine
Rigorous testing has shown that vaccines are completely safe for the vast majority of people, including children.
But there is a very small risk of side effects which, in an even smaller number of patients, can be fatal.
Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines have been linked to heart inflammation known as myocarditis, especially in young people.
The Covid vaccination rate has stalled at 55% among 16 to 18 year olds
According to figures from the UK government, the use of coronavirus vaccines among older adolescents already appears to be at a standstill.
Only around 55% of 16 and 17 year olds in England received their first dose on September 26, according to the latest data, a number that had barely increased in the previous three weeks.
The analysis was revealed in a weekly report from the new UK Health Security Agency, which took over pandemic tasks from Public Health England.
It showed that absorption in the age group was around 20 percent at the start of August.
That figure rose to 50% in the three weeks after deployment, extended to all older teens on August 19.
But progress appears to have stagnated in recent weeks, increasing only about five percent in September.
All age groups have experienced a natural stagnation in absorption, with the threshold being much higher in the older age groups who are more likely to contract severe Covid. For example, the ceiling was around 90% for those over 70 and 80% for people over 50.
Experts said they weren’t necessarily surprised by the set. Cambridge University epidemiologist Dr Raghib Ali told MailOnline enthusiasm for injections in older teens was lower because many have already had Covid “so don’t think they have to to get vaccinated “.
The British drug regulator says myocarditis has occurred in about one in 135,000 Britons who have received an mRNA vaccine.
Most cases are mild and treatable within days, but the disease is known to be more common in children and young adults, affecting about one in 10,000 cases.
The long-term effects of this heart inflammation are still not known.
AstraZeneca’s jab, which uses more traditional technology for the other two vaccines, is associated with blood clots.
The MHRA estimates that one in 66,000 Britons suffered from the disease, which can cause a fatal blockage in the brain, after their first dose of AZ.
It is more common among young people – one in 48,000 for those under the age of 50 – which is why it has been limited to the younger age groups, who are less at risk of Covid itself.
The MHRA says there have been 72 reported deaths from this single specific condition in the UK, six of which occurred after the second dose.
He puts the death rate at 17 percent.
The regulator lists cases it suspects to be the result of vaccines, but the ONS only records cases where an investigation has confirmed the cause.
Professor Lawrence said this process “is not straightforward” as it requires “a detailed review of death certificates, autopsy (if available) and medical records”.
He added: “It is even more complicated in cases where the deceased had one or more underlying illnesses. ”
On top of that, coroners across the country have faced a backlog of investigations due to Covid-related deaths and lockdowns.
A coroner investigates all sudden and unexplained deaths so that a death certificate can be issued.
In a blog post discussing vaccine safety concerns today, the ONS admitted its vaccine-induced death toll was “likely to rise as numbers grow in the wake of the delays.” .
The agency added that the actual number of deaths from the vaccine will be “much lower” than the higher figure reported in the MHRA’s “yellow card” system.
The program monitors all deaths and illnesses that people experience in the weeks and months after getting their vaccine.
It has recorded 1,645 post-vaccination deaths, up to September 8. This figure was seized by anti-vaxx groups.
The ONS says the tally is a “big overestimate” because it includes cases that have not been properly investigated.
The MHRA says so in its guidelines. “It is very important to note that a yellow card report does not necessarily mean that the vaccine caused this reaction or event.”
“Many… have nothing to do with the vaccine or the drug and it’s often a coincidence that they both happened around the same time. ”