New Cases, Hospital Admissions, and Deaths This Week by Vaccination Status

New Cases, Hospital Admissions, and Deaths This Week by Vaccination Status

The purpose of this page is to share some figures on the vaccination status of the recent Covid-19 cases, hospital admissions, and deaths in Scotland, split by vaccination status. This is understandably something which a lot of people are interested in right now, but without knowing the full context behind the figures, they can be easily misread and even used to promote false claims about the vaccinations not being effective.

So on this page I’ll share some of these figures, while also giving a bit of additional information about why they are the way they are!

To start, the two charts below show what share of this weeks new cases, hospital admissions, and deaths are in unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, and fully vaccinated people. The first chart is showing the whole numbers, whereas the second chart is showing the same figures, but adjusting for the different population sizes of each group. For example: (unvaccinated cases / unvaccinated population) * 100,000.

It is important that we adjust for the population size, as about 64% of the entire Scottish population are now fully vaccinated. There are over 3.8 million fully vaccinated people, and just 1.8 million unvaccinated people. 

Yet despite only making up 30% of the population, unvaccinated people make up 43% of this weeks new cases. 

Share of Weekly Increases by Vaccination Status

Share of Weekly Increases by Vaccination Status (adjusted for population)

Share of Weekly Increases by Vaccination Status
(adjusted for population)

The vaccinations do reduce your risk of catching the virus, but they do not remove all of the risk. They are not 100% effective, unfortunately. This means that a small share of that 64% of the population are still going to catch the virus. And as 64% of the population is a lot of people, this number may end up being as high as the total number of unvaccinated people who catch the virus. But that does not mean each group has an equal risk.

As an example, imagine Group A has 2,000 people in it, and Group B has 400 people in it. Then imagine 10% of Group A catch the virus (200 people), and 50% of Group B also catch the virus (200 people). You could say “As many people in Group A caught the virus as in Group B!!” and you would technically be correct, but it is a very misleading thing to say without mentioning that people in Group B caught the virus at a 5x higher rate.  

The above charts are one way of visualizing the data, however another way of visualizing it is in the two charts below, which show the actual numbers and not just the percentage shares. The first chart is showing the whole numbers, and the second chart is showing the per 100k population numbers. 

You can see that proportionally to each groups population size, unvaccinated people are catching the virus at a rate nearly 2x as high as fully vaccinated people are.

New Cases, Admissions, and Deaths by Vaccination Status (In Total)

New Cases, Admissions, and Deaths
by Vaccination Status (In Total)

New Cases, Admissions, and Deaths by Vaccination Status (Per 100k Pop)

New Cases, Admissions, and Deaths by
Vaccination Status (Per 100k Pop)

What you might be concerned about are the deaths / hospital admissions, and how it looks like fully vaccinated people are dying from the virus at a higher rate than unvaccinated people. There is a good reason for why it looks like this, which is what the rest of this page will focus on!

But in short, everyone seems to have a fairly equal chance of catching the virus, when exposed. And as being vaccinated reduces your chance of catching the virus, this means that in general, an unvaccinated person will be much more likely to catch the virus than a fully vaccinated person.

However, everyone does not have an equal chance of becoming seriously ill and dying from the virus. This varies massively depending on your age and general health status. This is important and something which the above figures do not account for. Especially as just about every single elderly and at risk person (the people who are mostly still dying from the virus), are now in that fully vaccinated group (my next point!).

So it isn’t just as simple as saying that an unvaccinated person is more likely to die from the virus than a fully vaccinated person. On an individual level this is true (any one person is much less likely to die from the virus if they get vaccinated), but a 90 year old person who is fully vaccinated is still going to be at a much higher risk from the virus than an unvaccinated 20 year old (this graphic from the FT shows this well).

Meaning that simply comparing all unvaccinated people to all fully vaccinated people when looking at hospital admissions and deaths is quite tricky to do, as the demographics of each group varies so much. Ideally we could compare unvaccinated elderly people to fully vaccinated elderly people, and unvaccinated young people to fully vaccinated young people, but there is still limited data being released which is broken down by age like this.

Point 1: Virtually all at risk individuals are now fully vaccinated

Saying that ‘most’ at risk individuals are fully vaccinated is a bit of an understatement, as you can see from the figures below! 

The first chart shows the total number of unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, and fully vaccinated people in each age group. The second chart shows the same figures, just in a way which lets you see the total percentage share for each age group.

About 94% of everyone above the age of 60 in Scotland are now fully vaccinated against the virus. There are only 75,000 people above the age of 60 who are yet to be vaccinated, which is just 5% of the age groups population. Even this may be an overestimate due to data limitations. 

It is also good to note who is still unvaccinated in the figures below. Nearly all of the remaining unvaccinated population are in people under the age of 60, and the bulk of those are under the age of 30. These age groups, particularly the under 30s, are at the lowest risk from the virus.

To put it into context, since the beginning of the pandemic, Scotland has had 11,406 deaths from the virus. From those, 0.1% have been in people under the age of 30, 7.0% were in the 30-59 age range, and the remaining 92.8% have been in those above the age of 60 (more details).

Population by Age Group and Vaccination Status

Population by Age Group and Vaccination Status

Point 2: At risk individuals are still the most at risk from the virus

Vaccinations have reduced the severity of the virus massively for the at risk population. However, in the context of the figures at the top of the page, it is important to know that the elderly and the vulnerable are still the most at risk from the virus. Even when they are fully vaccinated. This risk is a lot, lot lower than it was before the vaccination rollout began, but they are still the most at risk group in our population.

Thankfully some age data is now being released for the new admissions and deaths by vaccination status, so we can look at this a bit more closely.

The first chart below shows the total number of new hospital admissions this week in each age group, split by vaccination status. You can see that in younger people, most admissions are in the unvaccinated, whereas in older people nearly all admissions are in the fully vaccinated. As I mentioned before, this is because this age group is still the most at risk, and 94% of people in this age group are now fully vaccinated.

The second chart shows the number of new admissions in each age group this week, split by vaccination status, per 100k population. You can see that after adjusting for population size, unvaccinated people are being admitted to hospital at far higher rates than fully vaccinated people. 

This is true in every age group. Unvaccinated young people were almost 4x more likely to be admitted to hospital than fully vaccinated young people, and unvaccinated older people were almost 2x more likely to be admitted to hospital than fully vaccinated older people too.

Also note how fully vaccinated older people were still admitted to hospital at a higher rate than unvaccinated young people. 

Admissions by Vaccination Status and Age Group

Admissions by Vaccination Status and Age Group (Per 100k Pop)

Admissions by Vaccination Status and Age Group
(Per 100k Pop)

Unfortunately no data is currently being released on the age of the new deaths split by vaccination status. However, some age standardised rates are being released, which are included in the chart below (along with the total number of deaths and the total number of deaths, per 100k population).

What you will see is that the bulk of the deaths we are seeing right now are in the fully vaccinated population. While the figures aren’t available, you can also be sure that nearly all of these deaths will be in the 60+ population, as this age group is still by far the most at risk from the virus.

The reason there aren’t many unvaccinated deaths is because nearly every single person above the age of 60 is fully vaccinated by this point. Unvaccinated elderly people aren’t dying in large numbers because hardly any of them exist, and unvaccinated young people aren’t dying in large numbers because they just aren’t at a high risk of it. Meaning most of the deaths we will be seeing right are in fully vaccinated elderly people.

So then looking at the per 100k population death figures, why are fully vaccinated people dying at a higher rate then unvaccinated people? Well, it is because those figures do not account for age differences. 

Unvaccinated people under the age of 60 will be dying from the virus at a higher rate than fully vaccinated people under the age of 60, and unvaccinated people over the age of 60 will be dying from the virus at a higher rate than fully vaccinated people over the age of 60. However, fully vaccinated people over the age of 60 are going to be dying from the virus at a higher rate than unvaccinated people under the age of 60. 

That is what the per 100k population figures are showing, so they are quite useless in that regard. Thankfully we also have some age standardised rates, which account for this. These show the weighted average mortality rate across all individual age groups, and then give a single figure which represents the number of deaths we’re currently seeing in unvaccinated / partially vaccinated / fully vaccinated people, per 100k population.

By using age standardised rates we can make a fair comparison between the unvaccinated and fully vaccinated population, as it allows for us to bypass the hurdle of each group having wildly different age demographics. You can see that after accounting for the varying age ranges like this through the use of age standardised rates, unvaccinated people are dying at more than 2.5x the rate fully vaccinated people are.

Deaths by Vaccination Status

Point 3: Vaccines have reduced the number of deaths from the virus significantly

Something that all of the above figures do not show is that we are actually seeing very few deaths from the virus right now, at least in comparison to what we were seeing in the earlier stages of the pandemic. That is despite our case rates now being far higher than anything we have seen before. 

The chart below shows this well. You can see that during the winter wave, the number of deaths from the virus roughly followed the number of cases of the virus. It was an awful time, and we were averaging over 60 new deaths a day at the worst of it. 

Fast forward to June, and we begin a new wave.. however there is a difference this time: we have near fully vaccinated our entire elderly population!

As a result of that, you can see how deaths did increase (the link is weakened but not completely broken), but they did not follow the trend of cases like they did during the winter wave. At our worst, we were averaging 8 new deaths a day, despite cases reaching far higher levels than in winter.

Then came August, and we had another wave. This time cases got even higher, and peaked at nearly 3x as high as they did during the winter wave. But again, deaths did not reach as high as they did previously, and we peaked at 20 new deaths a day. A third of what we were seeing during winter.

That is a direct result of the vaccinations both reducing the risk of the elderly population catching the virus, and also reducing their risk of becoming seriously ill and dying from the virus should they still catch it. They have not removed all of the risk, but they have reduced it significantly.

This chart shows the trend of cases, deaths, hospital/ICU admissions, and hospital/ICU inpatients throughout the course of the entire pandemic. The data is based on specimen date, date of death, and date of admission, so the figures here accurately reflect what was going on at each point of the pandemic.

 

Each metric is shown on its own scale, so they are not directly comparable to each other. Instead, this chart should be used to see how the link between cases and deaths/hospitalizations has changed as a result of the vaccine rollout.

 

The first wave isn't too useful to look at, as we tested so little there. But during the second wave, you can see how the number of people being admitted to hospital and dying from the virus roughly lines up with the number of new cases being identified each day. Then in the third wave, this link between cases and deaths/hospitalizations is still there, but it is a much weaker link. This is the vaccine effect! The number of people getting seriously ill and dying from the virus is now much lower than it was before, because of the vaccines. 

 

You can add/remove metrics by selecting them on the legend. Also, you can hover over a specific day on the chart to see more detailed figures for each metric that day.

This chart shows the trend of cases, deaths, hospital/ICU admissions, and hospital/ICU inpatients throughout the course of the entire pandemic. The data is based on specimen date, date of death, and date of admission, so the figures here accurately reflect what was going on at each point of the pandemic.

 

Each metric is shown on its own scale, so they are not directly comparable to each other. Instead, this chart should be used to see how the link between cases and deaths/hospitalizations has changed as a result of the vaccine rollout.

 

The first wave isn't too useful to look at, as we tested so little there. But during the second wave, you can see how the number of people being admitted to hospital and dying from the virus roughly lines up with the number of new cases being identified each day. Then in the third wave, this link between cases and deaths/hospitalizations is still there, but it is a much weaker link. This is the vaccine effect! The number of people getting seriously ill and dying from the virus is now much lower than it was before, because of the vaccines. 

 

You can add/remove metrics by selecting them on the legend. Also, you can hover over a specific day on the chart to see more detailed figures for each metric that day.

That is all I have to share! But to summarize, you should not be overly concerned about any of the figures shown here. The vaccines are working fantastically well, and are the sole reason why we are not in a hard lockdown right now.

Look at it this way: if we fully vaccinate 100% of our population, then we’d expect the number of deaths from the virus to reduce by 95% (or more). But from the small number of people still dying, 100% of them would be fully vaccinated. That does not mean that the vaccines do not work.

Anyone saying that being vaccinated puts you at a greater risk from the virus, or that the vaccines are not effective, are quite simply lying.

Public Health England estimate that in England alone, the vaccination rollout has already prevented over 23.9 million infections, and 123,000 deaths from the virus. Although those figures don’t account for the fact that without the vaccines, we would be in another lockdown right now.

You can read more about the vaccines from the NHS here.

This page will (hopefully) be updated each Wednesday. Last Updated: 20/10/2021

About the Data

The data comes from the weekly PHS Statistical Report here. A new report is released each Wednesday, normally at around noon.

I’m using the figures from the most recent complete week (e.g, not the week that is shaded grey, but the week before that).

Unvaccinated people are those who are eligible to receive the vaccine, but have chosen not to have it. Someone is also counted as unvaccinated if it has been fewer than 21 days since they received their first dose of the vaccine. 

People vaccinated with 1 dose are those who had their 1st dose of the vaccine more than 21 days ago, or have had their second dose of the vaccine for fewer than 14 days. Then people vaccinated with 2 doses are those who had their second dose of the vaccine more than 14 days ago. 

So for example, if someone tests positive 10 days after their receiving their first dose of the vaccine, they are recorded as an unvaccinated case. If someone dies 10 days after getting their second dose of the vaccine, then they are recorded as a ‘with 1 dose’ death.

A case is someone who has tested positive on a PCR test. For cases, the individual’s vaccination status is determined by what their vaccination status was on the day they were tested.

A hospital admission is someone who has tested positive in the 14 days prior to their admission to hospital, or tests positive during their stay in hospital. For hospital admissions, the individual’s vaccination status is determined by what their vaccination status was on the day they were tested.

A death here is any death where an individual has tested positive for the virus at any point in time, and then where covid was mentioned as an underlying or contributory cause of death on their death certificate. For deaths, the individual’s vaccination status is determined by their vaccination status on the day of their most recent test.

According to PHS: “Denominators used are from the COVID-19 vaccination data that provides information on vaccine eligibility for the 16 and over population, and for vaccinated individuals under the age of 18. Given the small number of individuals eligible for vaccination under 16, the denominator for unvaccinated under 16s is from the NRS mid-2020 population estimates.

Population data are extracted from Community Health Index (CHI) dataset representing all those currently registered with a GP practice in Scotland. These are different denominators than those in the Public Health Scotland COVID-19 Daily Dashboard and may over-estimate the population size as they will include, for example, some individuals who are no longer residents in Scotland.”

The wording confuses me a little, but I think it is saying that the population figures/vaccine coverage here will not match the ones seen elsewhere (such as on the main Scotland Coronavirus Tracker page) as they are using different figures (which likely over estimate the population), but they do include cases / admissions / deaths for the entire population, not just those 16 and older.

Ideally I would, but there is limited data available for it right now. 

There is no age data for the cases or deaths. For hospital admissions, it is only broken down into under 16s / 16 – 29 / 30 – 59 / over 60s. 

Although the actual PHS report where the data comes from does have some additional charts in it, which include further age data.  

If you want to see similar data broken down into more detailed age groups, then I would suggest looking at the Vaccine Surveillance Reports for England. They give a good overview of the recent case/admission/death rates for all of the age groups, split by vaccination status. 

F.A.Q

Because around 64% of the eligible population are now fully vaccinated (3.8 million people), and the vaccine is not 100% effective. 

Unvaccinated people are currently testing positive at a rate nearly 2x as high as fully vaccinated people are. There are just a lot fewer of them.

The vaccine greatly reduces your likelihood of catching the virus, and will also reduce the severity of your illness should you still catch it. Just because it doesn’t remove 100% of the risk doesn’t mean it is not effective.

Because elderly people, even when fully vaccinated, are still by far the most at risk from the virus. And we have fully vaccinated 94% of elderly people.

Unvaccinated elderly people are not dying in large numbers because hardly any of them exist, and unvaccinated young people are not dying in large numbers because young people in general are at very low risk.

Meaning most of the deaths we will be seeing right now will be in fully vaccinated elderly people. However, unvaccinated people are still dying at a higher rate, and you can be certain that without the vaccines the number of deaths we would be seeing right now would be substantially higher. 

Public Health England releases similar data in their weekly vaccine surveillance reports here. Their data is probably more useful to look at than the figures on this page, as they have all of it broken down by age range, and are also working with larger numbers (England is a larger country) which are less susceptible to low numbers skewing the figures one way or another.

I’m not aware of any similar data for Wales or Northern Ireland.

This article here has some great data for Israel. It appears to be updated on a regular basis, and again breaks the figures down well by age range.

There are probably other sets of figures out there too! Just be cautious when comparing Scotland to other countries, as the figures you see elsewhere will vary a lot depending on what their vaccination coverage looks like.

For example, you’ll see a lot of articles about how most deaths in the USA are now in the unvaccinated. This will probably be because only 81% of the 75+ population in the USA are fully vaccinated (for the country as a whole).

The difference between their 81% and our 94% is massive, and could certainly be why they are having so many more unvaccinated deaths.

If you’re under 30 then the risk of dying from the virus is certainly lower, but there is still a risk. Even if you are unlikely to die from the virus, there is a more moderate risk of becoming seriously ill or developing long covid after contracting the virus. And as the vaccine reduces this risk substantially, why would you not want to get vaccinated?

Even if you don’t care about your own health, think about onwards transmission. If you’re vaccinated then you’re going to be less likely to catch the virus, and therefore, less likely to spread the virus to others.

You can help protect the vulnerable members of our society. At a more personal level, you can help protect your parents, grandparents, and anyone else in your life who maybe isn’t as young and healthy as you are.

Finally, high case rates affect us all. Lockdowns, cancellations, needing to self isolate, ect. We’ve all been inconvenienced by it at one point, and the best way to prevent it from happening in the future is to get vaccinated.

Yes! Before any vaccine is approved, it must meet the very strict standards set by the MHRA for both safety and effectiveness. The Covid-19 vaccines are no different, and they met these standards.

As with all vaccines, side effects are common, but the vast majority of these will be mild (more information). Unfortunately some of these will be severe and even fatal, but the rarity of these cannot be stressed enough.

Up to the end of September 2021, the NRS report that over 11,100 people have died in Scotland from Covid-19 (from around 566,000 confirmed cases). This is in comparison to 5 deaths which were the result of an adverse reaction to the vaccine (from around 8,000,000 million doses administered).

Worldwide, over 6.5 billion vaccine doses have now been administered, and safety data has being getting gathered for over a year and a half now. If there were any serious issues then we would be aware of them by now.