Date: 20 October 2021
Our Ref: 2021-000970
Enquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Robert Kennedy
Freedom of Information Reference: 2021-000970
Thank you for your request for information of 4 October 2021.
“Recent studies have shown a potential increased risk of death within the first 2
weeks of vaccination. I wish to establish if there are any truths to these claims. As
such, under Freedom of Information, please provide me with the number of all
cause deaths post-vaccination from the beginning of the vaccine program, within
the following timescales;
• Up to 2 weeks following first dose
• 2-4 weeks following first dose
• 4-8 weeks following first dose
• 8-12 weeks following first dose
• Up to 2 weeks following second dose
• 2-4 weeks following second dose
• 4-8 weeks following second dose
• 8-12 weeks following second dose.
Please break these down into vaccine types (AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech,
Moderna) and age groups (under 16 years, 16 to 29 years, 30 to 59 years, 60+
years). If vaccine type is not possible to be disseminated, please provide data for
all vaccine types.”
Public Health Scotland can advise that we do hold data relevant to your request;
however, it would require significant bespoke analysis that is not possible within the time
and resource limits for a Freedom of Information request. Therefore, the exemption
Section 17(1) - Information not held is applied to all of your request, under the Freedom
of Information Scotland Act (2002).
Bespoke complex analysis can be requested via the Information Request Service.
Further information is available via General enquiries form - General enquiries - Contact
us - Public Health Scotland.
Please ensure you state in your enquiry “Information
Request - Bespoke data analysis required following response of FOI 2021-000970 FAO
COVID-19 Data & Analytics Team”.
Further information is available on the following page, bespoke data analysis requests -
Contact us - Public Health Scotland
including protocol and disclosure protocol. Please be
aware that there may be a charge to cover the cost of completing this work. Further
details can be found in the PHS Information Request Service Charging Policy.
You may wish to view the COVID-19 statistical report published on the 15th of September
2021 (available here)
, which included the latest data available on deaths due to any
cause that occurred within 28 days (days 0-27) of receiving a COVID-19 vaccination. Due
to the level of interest in this statistic, we are publishing information on this quarterly in
our COVID-19 statistical report.
As part of our routine monitoring of the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines, we are checking
to make sure that there is no increase in the number of deaths in the vaccinated
population than would be expected based on their age and sex, when compared to the
average death rates from 2015 to 2019 (referred to as observed versus expected
analysis). The observed versus expected analysis does not take into account or provide
information on cause of death, it does not predict deaths due to vaccination, and it
doesn’t estimate risk of death following vaccination.
In our report published on 15th of September we reported that for the population of
individuals who were vaccinated between 8th December 2020 to 3rd September 2021,
taking into account the age and sex of the vaccinated individuals, we would have
expected 9,202 deaths within 28 days of COVID-19 vaccination. We observed 5,903
deaths, which is fewer than what was expected. Further breakdowns of the deaths by
vaccine type and age group are also available as part of the publication.
Scottish Information Commissioner’s website:
For information I include a link to the Regulator’s website.
If you are unhappy with our response to your request you have the right to request a
review. Your request should be made within 40 working days of receipt of this
correspondence, and we will reply within 20 working days of receipt. The review will be
undertaken by a reviewer who was not involved in the original decision-making process.
The reviewer can be contacted as follows:
The FOI Reviewer
Public Health Scotland
1 South Gyle Crescent
If our decision is unchanged following a review and you remain dissatisfied, you have the
right to make a formal complaint to the Scottish Information Commissioner within six
months of receipt of our review response. You can do this by using the Scottish
Information Commissioner’s Office online appeals service at
www.itspublicknowledge.info/Appeal. If you remain dissatisfied with the Commissioner’s
response you then have the option to appeal to the Court of Session on a point of law.
Yours sincerely Scott Heald
Director of Data Driven Innovation Public Health Scotland