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There is an increase in excess deaths, but what’s causing it?

In brief
  • There is an increase in all cause mortality in many countries. 
  • According to publicly available data, NZ is also experiencing a rise in excess deaths. 
  • The debate rages over whether the excess deaths are caused by the vaccine or long COVID. 
  • Why is there no definitive study to settle the debate? 

What’s going on? 

People are dying at higher rates than usual around the world, including in New Zealand. There’s a debate as to whether this was caused by COVID vaccines or long COVID. 

Excess deaths caused by Covid 19?
Is it COVID or the vaccine?

Excess deaths 

Excess deaths (or excess mortality), according to ourworldindata.org “refers to the number of deaths from all causes above and beyond what we would have expected to see under ‘normal’ conditions”.

In “Excess deaths in 2023 confirmed” Dr John Campbell examines available OECD data, which includes New Zealand, along with other publicly available data, to illustrate that this international trend is carrying on in the current year.  

Some data suggests New Zealand’s excess death rate is up 16% for the year as of 27 August 2023. The numbers are measured based on 5 year averages. 

The purpose of this article is not to argue about the number of excess deaths, but to simply point out the issue appears to warrant more study.

Explanations for the excess deaths? 

In Australia, cardiologists quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald believe 2022’s 17% increase in deaths from ischemic heart disease is “likely linked” to COVID, “but also delayed diagnoses, prevention and treatment through the pandemic [due to lockdowns and related restrictions]”.

Our own Ministry of Health has unpublished a study published in January that showed vaccinated Kiwis had significantly higher rates of myocarditis and kidney damage than unvaccinated Kiwis (see note at the end of our previous article).

There are countless attempts to explain the excess deaths. The prime suspects are long COVID and the vaccine. The debate is extremely partisan.

It seems like it doesn’t have to be that hard to determine if the vaccine or COVID is to blame?

The Government has the information and the resources. Maybe the upcoming royal commission on COVID can give them the motivation? That would hopefully go a long way to either silencing the vaccine’s critics or vindicating them.

The best study would be designed and undertaken by a level-headed group, representing contrary sides of the argument, that are actually interested in the truth. This is in contrast to some people who just focus on defending positions they advocated earlier. 

Here are some terms such a study may contain:

  1. Don’t assume the number of vaccinated as a percentage in society vs unvaccinated. Just include, in the study, actual people who are vaccinated, or not, and the number of vaccinations.
  2. Track, as much as possible, which people in each group have had COVID, the number of times, and any material health problems in the study period that can be objectively confirmed. 
  3. Continue the study for as long as possible, but not less than 2 years, with reports at various intervals. Since this issue started more than 2 years ago, there is historical information that could allow the start date to be at least 2 years ago.

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