Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Place your bets now.

From the BBC:

The UK has benefited from both fast [vaccine] rollout and good uptake. Currently, a third of the adult population is fully vaccinated, with another third having had one dose. Among those at most risk - the over-50s and younger adults with health conditions, where 99% of Covid deaths have occurred - uptake for the first dose has been 95%.

Which is all good stuff. I'm not sure why they think it's better to give people in their 40s and younger a first jab rather than giving the over-50s their second jab, but hey. Sometimes the government does the right thing.

On the topic of death stats, I assumed that excess deaths in 2020 would be offset by lower than average deaths in the next couple of years i.e. the people who died from it would have died from something else in the next couple of years anyway.

It looks like this effect is starting to kick in - the black line for 2021 is dipping below the dotted line for 2015-19 average - but who knows? Most predictions about all this have been very wrong (including, I hasten to add, most of my own), so that's the question - how much lower will 2021 deaths be compared to the 2015-19 average? Just a bit? A lot?

Here's a chart to summarise data from the ONS: What's odd is that the January 2021 peak is a noticeably lower than the April 2020 peak. Worldometers shows it the other way round:


Derek said...

There might be a bit of a dip in the death rate for 2021 for the reasons that you mention. However it'll probably be offset to some extent by "recovered" Covid and "Long Covid" sufferers dying from the effects of increased heart rates, blood pressure, depression, etc. a bit earlier than they would otherwise have done.

How much it'll affect the figures is anybody's guess.

Mark Wadsworth said...

D, that's a brave shout for so early in the game!

Piotr Wasik said...

my bet: 2021 deaths will be below last year's but above 2015-2019 average because we will have another wave of deaths (I hope it will be the last one).

my reasoning is as follows: recently number of cases of almost all variants have been going down except for the indian one that has been going up, for a while aggregate number of new cases was going down, but now it seems that for about a week the indian one is growing faster than the others are falling. which means that even if Astra Zeneca is successful at suppressing the indian variant, which is the optimistic scenario, maybe even likely, the rest of the population will not be vaccinated in time to prevent a new wave. Of course pessimistic scenarios assume yet another variant of concern to appear or AZ not giving enough protection against the Indian one.

and when we have a lot cases, even if it is mostly among the youngsters, some of the vaccinated oldies will catch it and die.

regardles of the next few months, I have been rooting for NHS - they are doing a great job with the rollout and the vaccines really appear to work :)

James Higham said...

Poison everyone equally? Good socialist ethics.

DCBain said...

Derek: "How much it'll affect the figures is anybody's guess."
Alternatively: How much it'll affect the figures depends on who's compiling them and to whose advantage.

Mark Wadsworth said...

PW, that's good logic, but a brave shout nonetheless.

JH, the vaccines seem to be of overall benefit to me. I just accept that as a given.

DCB, we know that covid-19 deaths are overcounted for weird political reasons, which is why it is better just to look at "total deaths". The ONS doesn't muck about with hard data like that.