No, the U.K. government has not blocked publication of COVID-19 vaccine illness and death statistics

By: Christian Haag
February 16 2024

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No, the U.K. government has not blocked publication of COVID-19 vaccine illness and death statistics

Source: Instagram/Screenshot/Edited by Logically Facts


The Verdict False

The Office for National Statistics is an independent department and has published statistics on deaths believed to be related to COVID-19 vaccines.

Claim ID 5084451e


Posts circulating on social media claim that the U.K. government has blocked the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the U.K.'s largest independent producer of official statistics. from publishing statistics of “side effects, illness, and deaths of people following receiving COVID-19 vaccinations.” Examples of such claims can be seen here and here

However, the claim is false; the ONS is an independent statistical institute. It does publish statistics related to death due to COVID-19 vaccines. 

In fact

The ONS told Logically Facts that it “operates independently and [the claim] is not true.” 

The ONS does publish data on deaths attributed to vaccines. It is included in its monthly mortality analysis for England And Wales, and the latest publication includes data from March 2020 to July 2023. Registered deaths attributed to vaccines are listed under “COVID-19 vaccines causing adverse effects in therapeutic use, unspecified.”
In England, 63 people had vaccines listed as the cause of death, and 55 had vaccines as the underlying cause up until July 2023. In comparison, 189,505 people had died of COVID-19 as of July 2023. 

The ONS does not collect or hold data on long-term sickness caused by the COVID-19 vaccines, such as side effects or illness. The MHRA does this via the Yellow Card reporting site, where the public and doctors can report side effects from medicine, including COVID-19 vaccines. 

In a report from March 2023, the MHRA states that it is their “responsibility to ensure that the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccines used in the U.K. continue to outweigh the risks; the MHRA is closely monitoring the bivalent mRNA vaccines and COVID-19 vaccine Novavax using the proactive pharmacovigilance surveillance strategy in place for the initial vaccine rollout.”

One such role is the monitoring of suspected side effects. So far, the overwhelming majority of reports related to COVID-19 vaccines have been: “injection-site reactions (sore arm, for example) and generalized symptoms such as ‘flu-like’ illness, headache, chills, fatigue (tiredness), nausea (feeling sick), fever, dizziness, weakness, aching muscles, and rapid heartbeat.”

There have been many different claims regarding the link between COVID-19 vaccines and the risk of death. Logically Facts has fact-checked many of these allegations, including claims such as spike protein in mRNA vaccines being linked to death and illness, 20 million having died globally from COVID-19 vaccines, and the BBC admitting COVID-19 vaccines caused excess deaths in 2022 in the U.K. 

This claim was also previously debunked by Reuters back in 2021

The verdict
The Office for National Statistics is an independent agency and does publish figures of deaths attributed to vaccines. It does not hold statistics on side effects and illnesses caused by the COVID-19 vaccines. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.

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