Viral post on Facebook: Death rates from COVID-19 in England are higher among those vaccinated than among those unvaccinated.
PolitiFact’s decision: False
Here’s why: By referring to a graphic in a 30-page report while omitting important context, bloggers falsely claimed in an article that COVID-19 death rates in England are much higher among those vaccinated than among those unvaccinated. .
The article was titled “COVID fatality rate 4 to 1, vaccinated to unvaccinated.” It was shared on Facebook in a post that was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to tackle fake news and disinformation on its news feed.
The claim contains a statistical error. The ratio he cites is based on the raw number of deaths among vaccinated and unvaccinated people. It does not compare death rates, which would take into account the size of each group.
The claim refers to a chart in a report from the UK Health Security Agency which indicates that over a three-week period in October and November, England recorded 3,430 deaths from COVID-19. Of those deaths, 2,822 were people who had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 587 were unvaccinated. The rest were people whose immunization status was not known.
The article linked in the claim does not include these specific data points, but cites the ratio between them – 4.8 to 1 – as evidence that “the vaccine is deadlier than the virus.”
However, “that’s not a valid comparison,” said Luke Weeks, senior communications officer for the UK Health Security Agency, which recently replaced the agency known as Public Health England.
“Well over 90% of the adult population is doubly vaccinated, so the vaccinated cohort is more than nine times the size of the unvaccinated cohort,” Weeks said, “A very small percentage of a large population is still more people than a higher percentage of a tiny one. “
The same vaccine surveillance report cited by the blog provides the statistics in this context. Over the three-week period, he said, England recorded 54.9 deaths from COVID-19 per 100,000 people among those who were vaccinated and 125.4 deaths per 100,000 among those who were not. not vaccinated.
The vaccines offer more than 90% protection against mortality, according to the health agency report.
Although the vaccine surveillance report was released by the UK Health Security Agency, which encompasses all countries in the UK, the data in the report comes only from England, Weeks said.
The claim was posted by Mic Drop Politics, who copied the text of his article from another blog called The Expose.
Data on the number of deaths among vaccinated and unvaccinated from the UK Health Security Agency is included in the Expose version, but not in the Mic Drop Politics article, which only mentions the ratio.
We rate the claim “COVID fatality rate 4 to 1, vaccinated to unvaccinated”, False.
Email interview, Luke Weeks, Senior Communications Officer, UK Health Security Agency, November 26, 2021
Mic Drop Politics, “COVID fatality rate 4 to 1, vaccinated to unvaxxed”, November 19, 2021
Office for National Statistics, “Latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information: Vaccines,” November 23, 2021
The Expose, “Covid Vaxxed to Unvaxxed Death Ratio 4: 1 – Corporate Media Should Be Censored for Spreading Disinformation,” November 17, 2021
UK Health Security Agency, About Us, accessed November 30, 2021
UK Health Safety Agency, “COVID-19 Vaccine Monitoring Report: Week 45”, November 11, 2021
This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: People vaccinated in England do not die faster than unvaccinated people