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Correlation of Excess Deaths with Vaccine Deployment in the Philippines in 2021
Monthly and overall excess deaths correlated with monthly and overall vaccine rollouts
As part of the goal of protecting all Filipinos and residents of the Philippines using Covid-19 Vaccines, the Philippines Government started an intensive population-wide rollout of Emergency Use Approved (EUA) vaccines on 1st of March 2021.
Initial vaccine availability in March 2021 was Sinovax (2 million doses) soon followed by Astrazeneca (525,600 doses). Most of the internationally available EUA Vaccines became available within the year.
Vaccine rollout in the Philippines was first to health care workers, then to the elderly and people who were vulnerable due to existing health conditions. Delivery of vaccines to the A2 and A3 priority groups may skew registered death data, as these people typically had many comorbidities and were thus at higher risk of death anyway.
With reference to Philippine Statistics Authority published data, the 2020 registered deaths were lower than typical. Thus, for comparison purposes I took the average monthly registered deaths from 2019, and used this to calculate excess monthly deaths for 2021. Although not completely accurate, given that historical data shows that death rates do not vary by +/- more than a few % points (2010 to 2019 % change in registered deaths ranged from -0.5 to 5%), this is good enough for an initial assessment.
Booster doses commenced in the Philippines in November of 2021. Thus this data is only with reference to first and second doses, which I presented separately and totaled. I wanted to see if there was any possible correlation between the number of vaccine doses delivered and excess deaths. The number of doses of vaccines given (all types, and all doses) were referenced from Department of Health tracking data (https://doh.gov.ph/covid19-vaccination-dashboard). I compared both monthly doses given and monthly excess deaths, and cumulative doses and cumulative deaths, up to the last available registered deaths data which is September 2021.
This is presented below both in tabulated form and in figures. It is interesting to note that as the initial excess deaths as % of doses was higher (perhaps related to the A2 and A3 recipients - who ironically may be pushed over the edge to death by relatively minor assaults), but that as the delivery progressed the % of deaths vs. vaccine delivery became more stable. The % of excess deaths as a factor of the number of vaccines delivered settled around 0.41% in the 3rd quarter. 4th quarter data will be interesting to see if this correlation still holds. If it does, and shown projected in red in Table 3, we would expect more than 400,000 excess deaths by the end of 2021.
This data covers the entire Philippines. However, as the rollouts did not start uniformly across the entire archipelago, a better assessment will be made by assessing excess death rates across each region against the vaccine rollouts in those regions.
I have not done any statistical analyses of this data for significance. Clearly, though, there appears to be a correlation. Expert statisticians / population data analyses is now required.