Covid vaccines not linked to excess mortality, says Dutch stats office
People who got vaccinated against the coronavirus were not at an increased risk of dying after the shot. There are no indications of this, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) concluded after research.
CBS looked at the explanations of people’s causes of death, among other things. The agency received about 166,000 such explanations last year, including 162 that stated that the coronavirus vaccination may have contributed to the death. The information on most statements was “too limited or not specific enough” to say anything about the effect of the shot. CBS concluded that the jab may have contributed to the death of 11 people.
CBS looked at excess mortality over the past years - when more people died than expected for the time of year. That happened four times in 2020 and 2021: in March and April 2020, in August 2020, between September 2020 and January 2021, and between August and December 2021.
A heat wave caused the second wave of excess mortality. In the first period, “the excess mortality was as large as the number of people CBS registered with Covid-19 as the cause of death.” In the third wave, more people died from the coronavirus than there was excess mortality. In both these periods, a relatively large number of people died of a coronavirus infection.
The last wave of excess mortality was last fall. The number of people who died on top of the expected level was greater than the number of coronavirus deaths. Other things must have therefore caused the peak in the number of deaths. Further research should clarify this, according to CBS.
In 2020 and 2021, approximately 340,000 people died in the Netherlands. That is about 30,000 more people “than expected if there had been no Covid-19 epidemic.”
An independent expert group of professors and others, which was established at the request of the Ministry of Public Health, criticized the stats office’s figures. According to them, there is “a lack of access to (medical) data.” CBS’s estimates are therefore insufficiently substantiated, the experts said.
For example, CBS is “much too firm” about the number of coronavirus deaths, said Ronald Meester, professor of Probability Accounting at the VU. “The deficient registration, often based on no more than suspicions and symptoms, does not allow such a conclusion at all. In addition, not only primary causes of death should be considered, but also secondary and tertiary causes of death.”
Reporting by ANP