Fewer deaths than expected for first time in six months; vaccination possible cause
For the first time since mid-September, the Netherlands had fewer registered deaths than expected this past week, Statistics Netherlands said on Friday. According to the stats office, this may have to do with more and more people being vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Last week, the eighth week of 2021, an estimated 3,200 people died in the Netherlands. That is 300 fewer than week seven and 200 fewer deaths than Statistics Netherlands expected for the period based on previous years.
The number of deaths among elderly people over the age of 80 and people in care institutions decreased significantly - groups in which many people have already been vaccinated. Statistics Netherlands sociologist Tanja Traag told ANP that there is not yet enough hard evidence to say for certain that the vaccination program is reducing the number of coronavirus-related deaths, "but it would be logical that the one has to do with the other".
The Statistics Netherlands estimate is based on reports on deaths the stats office receives at a daily basis. These reports do not include the cause of death - that data is sent in later. Public health institute RIVM reported 205 coronavirus related deaths last week. That figure may actually be higher, as not everyone was officially diagnosed.
Up to and including October last year, a total of 13 thousand Netherlands residents died of the coronavirus.