Thank you for contacting me about the excess deaths reported by the Office of National Statistics (ONS); I understand your concerns.
Andrew Bridgen Westminster Hall Debate: I was unable to attend the Westminster Hall debate on trends in excess deaths as I was recovering from an operation.
ONS data published in August 2023 shows that people who have had a Covid-19 vaccine have a lower mortality rate than those who have not been vaccinated. Although it is true to say that a high number of people who were vaccinated appear in the excess death population, when 93.6 per cent of the population have had at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, there will be a high number of vaccinated people in the excess death numbers. This is prevalence, not causality. It is important to look at the causes of excess deaths and to tackle them.
The Government is taking steps to reduce excess deaths, including those which involve Covid-19. Vaccines remain the first line of defence against Covid-19. Antivirals and other treatments play a crucial role in protecting patients who become infected with Covid-19, particularly those for whom the vaccine may be less effective such as the immunosuppressed.
Concerns over Vaccine Safety - The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) followed rigorous procedures to ensure the vaccines met the necessary high standards in safety and efficacy. The MHRA is one of the most respected regulators in the world and I welcome that the World Health Organisation not only backed its approach, but also commended its work.
The Government is preparing for variants of Covid-19 and influenza through the Covid-19 booster and flu vaccination programmes, minimising hospital admissions from both viruses. Going forward, I strongly encourage eligible people to get their booster jab and their flu jab to protect themselves, their loved ones and the NHS.
Clearly, the disruption caused by Covid-19 has had a significant impact on those people who were living with cancer and other major conditions. The Government is taking steps to reduce excess deaths due to these conditions, including through a delivery plan setting out how the NHS will expand elective services over the next three years. The plan commits the NHS to deliver nine million additional treatments and diagnostic procedures over the next three years and around 30 per cent more elective activity than it was doing before the pandemic by 2024/25.
Furthermore, the Government intends to publish a Major Conditions Strategy to tackle conditions that contribute most to morbidity and mortality across the population in England including: cancers; cardiovascular disease, including stroke and diabetes; chronic respiratory diseases; dementia; mental ill health; and musculoskeletal conditions.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP