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England & Wales Mortality Bulletin
Monthly review March 2020 to May 2023
In England & Wales, for all cohorts born between 1935 and 2009, excess mortality has accrued, pretty much unabated since the announcement of the COVID pandemic in Mar-20. By Jan-23, there have been around 132,000 excess deaths, with, surprisingly, no reversion to baseline. Only 36% of the excess deaths occurred prior to the start of the mass vaccination campaign and the excess deaths are 69% of the deaths attributed to COVID.
Due to the impact of severe delays of up to 18 months in the death registration process, it is not possible to produce reliable assessments of mortality after Dec 2021 for those born after 1985.
Every age cohort exhibits higher excess mortality after the start of the vaccination campaign in spite of expectations for excess deaths to revert to baseline (deficits should follow periods of excess).
In most cases, the daily death rate was as high during Jan and Feb 2021 (the first two months following the start of the vaccination campaign) as it was during spring 2020.
Deaths Occurring in England & Wales for Those Born between 1935 and 2009
In England & Wales, between March 2020, when the COVID pandemic was officially declared and Jan/May 2023, there have been 132,000 excess deaths for those aged 11 to 85 in 2020. (Figure 1). This compares to almost 190,000 deaths attributed to COVID by that time.
There were 33,000 excess deaths during the original spring 2020 epidemic, at a rate of 363 per day.
In autumn 2020, this rate had fallen 56% to 160 per day. However, the rate shot up in Jan and Feb 2021 to 377 per day, marginally worse than the original epidemic.
Since then, during two further periods of excess, the rate has hovered around 130 per day, a little lower than autumn 2020, in spite of an expectation to at least plateau, let alone revert to baseline, due to the pull-forward effect (periods of deficit that typically follow periods of excess due to the fact that people can only die once).
Deaths Occurring in England & Wales for Those Born between 2004 and 2009
Apart from the period between 01-Jul-21 and 31-Dec-21, there have been no periods of excess mortality for those born between 2004 and 2009 (aged 11 to 16 at the start of the pandemic) - Figures 3 and 4.
In fact, during the entire pandemic, prior to the start of the vaccination campaign, there were actually fewer deaths than normal.
However, it is apparent that the data is incomplete since at least April 2022 due to the impact of registration delays.
Incidentally, over 1.5 million 12 to 17 year-olds in England were known to have taken part in the COVID vaccine program by the end of 2021, over one third of that cohort (Figure 5).
In other words, there is only evidence of any excess mortality in this age cohort after the start of the vaccination program.
Deaths Occurring in England & Wales for Those Born between 1985 and 2003
For those born between 1985 and 2003 (aged 17 to 35 at the start of the pandemic), the spring 2020 period was represented by 211 excess deaths, at a rate of 2.3 deaths per day. It is feasible that at least one quarter of these deaths were pulled forward by a few months due to the deficit manifesting in autumn 2020.
However, excess mortality returns again in Jan to Feb 2021, amounting to 110 deaths, slightly lower in rate compared to the spring 2020 epidemic.
Most peculiarly, there is a significant spike in mortality for this cohort in July 2021, early summer, followed by a sustained period of excess deaths, amounting to 325 by the end of Dec 2021, at the same daily rate as Jan to Feb earlier.
According to Figure 8, almost 10 million 18 to 34 year olds in England (more than two thirds of that cohort) had received a COVID jab by the end of Dec 2021.
In other words, there were twice as many excess deaths after the start of the vaccination program than before.
Thereafter, the impact of registration delays, again makes any further analysis impossible.
Deaths Occurring in England & Wales for Those Born between 1960 and 1984
For those born between 1960 and 1984 (aged 36 to 60 at the start of the pandemic), the spring 2020 period was represented by 3,900 excess deaths, at a rate of 43 deaths per day. This is evidently substantially higher than the 17 to 35 year-olds, confirming the substantial differences in mortality risk that was known since Feb 2020 (Figure 9).
The excess death rate drops almost 50% in the autumn following the original epidemic in spring 2020 but increases by 50% compared to spring 2020 to 64 excess deaths per day during Jan and Feb 2021.
In the same peculiar fashion as the younger cohort, there is a significant spike in mortality for this cohort in summer 2021, peaking in Sept 2021, followed by a sustained period of excess deaths, amounting to more than 21,000 in total by the end of Dec 2021, in spite of expectations to revert to baseline at some point (Figure 10).
In summary, there were around 6,000 excess deaths prior to the start of the vaccination program (29% of excess deaths up to Dec 2021), compared to 15,000 afterwards (71%), albeit with more deaths to be recorded due to apparent registration delays.
Deaths Occurring in England & Wales for Those Born between 1945 and 1959
For those born between 1945 and 1959 (aged 61 to 75 at the start of the pandemic), the spring 2020 period was represented by 10,700 excess deaths, at a rate of 117 deaths per day. Again, this is evidently substantially higher than the younger cohorts (Figure 11).
Much like the younger cohorts, however, the excess death rate drops in the autumn but increases substantially during Jan and Feb 2021, with the same peculiar spike in summer 2021, peaking this time a month later, in Oct 2021, followed again by a sustained period of excess deaths (Figure 12).
In summary, there is a sustained and prolonged period of excess mortality for this cohort since March 2020 with around 16,000 excess deaths prior to the vaccination program (32%) and 34,000 afterwards (68%), in spite of the expectation of reversion to baseline.
Deaths Occurring in England & Wales for Those Born between 1935 and 1944
For those born between 1935 and 1944 (aged 76 to 85 at the start of the pandemic), the spring 2020 period was represented by 18,000 excess deaths, at a rate of 200 deaths per day. (Figure 13).
Although the excess death rate drops in the autumn, it does not increase quite so much as the younger cohorts during Jan and Feb 2021. (Figure 14).
Nevertheless, after still quite a substantial spike, there follows again, a sustained and prolonged period of excess mortality for this cohort since March 2020 with around 63,000 excess deaths in total, 41% prior to the vaccination program and 59% thereafter.