MPs say toll should be divided into those who had booster, double-jabbed and unvaccinated
- Similar model is used by Switzerland and is seen as way to encourage unvaccinated to get jab
- Sir Iain Duncan Smith said UK’s methods of calculating Covid deaths figures are ‘terrible’
- Said we should ‘break it down’ into those who died jabbed or unjabbed
Britain should overhaul its daily coronavirus death figures to split them up by vaccination status, MPs have said.
And the casualty toll should be divided into how many had received a booster shot, how many were double-jabbed and how many were unvaccinated.
A similar model is used by Switzerland and is seen as a way to encourage the unvaccinated to come forward.
Former Conservative Party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said the UK’s methods of calculating Covid deaths figures are ‘terrible’ and ‘have told a pretty false story’.
‘We should break it down – did people die jabbed or unjabbed.
‘I’m sure it would encourage better vaccine take-up. You’d be able to say to people for certain – these are your odds of dying if you don’t have the jab.’
The Chingford and Woodford Green MP also called for the deaths data to be broken down to split out people who died of Covid from those who died infected with Covid, but died for other reasons. He added that, at present: ‘We have no way of knowing how many died of Covid, rather than with Covid.’
Splitting it up in this way ‘would give us an indication of where exactly the death toll is’.
More than 37 million people in the UK have had their booster jab. And 48million have had their first two jabs.
Sir Iain spoke of a case in his constituency where the family of a man who died in hospital suspected Covid was written on his death certificate to cover up a hospital error. ‘When there is a chance they may have made a wrong decision, they slip Covid on the death certificate,’ Sir Iain said. ‘A lot of questions need to be asked.’
The MP said he has raised his suggestion to break down the data with Ministers. David Davis, the Conservative MP and former Brexit Secretary, backed the proposals and also called for other breakdowns in the data, including by age and co-morbidities.
‘I favour reporting the statistics more accurately than they are now,’ he said. ‘We need to see what strategies are working, who is actually at serious risk.’
Marcus Fysh, another Conservative MP, backed the proposals and said a breakdown to clarify who died of Covid or of other co-morbidities is needed. ‘You need to make sure you are comparing apples with apples,’ he added.
The UK Health Security Agency publishes breakdowns by vaccination status in its weekly vaccine surveillance reports but warns the data should be interpreted ‘with caution’.