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New Vital Australian Population Statistics for January and February 2022 released showing a 340% increase in excess deaths vs. 2021, which also showed excess deaths.
Jan and Feb 2022 have 5,052 excess deaths compared to historical averages. What could have caused these excess deaths? Lockdown measures, C-19 Vaccines, both?
On 25th May 2022, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released mortality data for 1 January through to 27 February 2022, 8 weeks data.
ABS clarifies that “Data for 2021 is compared to an average number of deaths recorded over the 5 years from 2015-2019 as was the case in previous publications. Data for 2022 is compared to a baseline comprising the years 2017-2019 and 2021. 2020 is not included in the baseline for 2022 data because it included periods where numbers of deaths were significantly lower than expected”.
I would argue that they should also exclude 2021 data from the 2022 analyses because that year’s data is also higher than typical.
Here is the plot provided by ABS. Raw data can be downloaded from the site.
Using ABS data I have plotted monthly Australian deaths for 2015 to 2021, and for the first 2 months of 2022.
2021, the second year of stringent population control measures and the first year of vaccine rollout, was already standing out with higher than averaged 2015-2019 deaths of 8,914 cases (all months showed excess deaths except August); with averaged monthly excess deaths of 743.
2022 has taken excess deaths to a whole new level. In the first 8 weeks of 2022, there were 29,685 deaths, which is 5,052 (20.5%) more than the historical average. This is 2,526/month or a 340% increase over the 2021 excess deaths.
In terms of causes for these deaths, the largest contributors were those attributed to covid-19 (2,521 deaths), dementia with 603 excess deaths (19% above baseline average of 2,059), cancer with 402 excess deaths (5.3% above the baseline average of 7,559), diabetes with 188 excess deaths (28% above baseline average of 671), and Ischemic heart disease with 89 excess deaths (4.2% above baseline).
People who die from/with covid-19 typically have multiple comorbidities. Thus, the reporting of 2,521 covid-19 deaths in place of other causes will have skewed downward the apparent deaths from other causes.
There were insignificant changes for cerebrovascular disease (1,413 vs. historical baseline of 1,418), respiratory diseases (1,894 vs. historical baseline of 1,878), and chronic lower respiratory diseases (1,056 vs. historical baseline of 1,047). Only 319 deaths were reported as due to pneumonia, lower than typical, and there were no deaths reported as due to influenza. Covid-19 has largely replaced pneumonia and influenza, it appears.
Death trending is unprecedented. The new government will have their hands full responding appropriately!