Health officials will no longer publish Scottish Covid deaths and hospitalizations by vaccine status after data was “inappropriately misinterpreted.”
Instead, officials have confirmed that they will focus on publishing more robust and complex vaccine effectiveness data. PHS (Public Health Scotland) officials said significant concerns about the data being misused deliberately by anti-vaccination campaigners is behind the move.
The report published on Wednesday will be the last weekly publication to include the data on infection rates among the vaccinated and unvaccinated.
One PHS official said focusing on vaccine effectiveness rather than the existing “very simple statistics” would result in “much more robust” data for the public.
They said: “The main important point around all of the analysis is we understand whether the vaccines are working against catching it and against getting severe Covid, and that’s where the vaccine effectiveness studies come in which are a completely different methodology.
“The case rates, hospitalization rates, the death rates are very simple statistics, whereas for the vaccine effectiveness studies we use modelling, we compare people who have tested negative to those who have tested positive and match them on their underlining co-morbidities. It’s a completely different method which is much more robust and that’s what we want people to focus on.”
The PHS official told The Scotsman: “What is happening is people are looking at those simple data and trying to make inferences about the vaccination, whether the vaccines work, inappropriately and sometimes willfully. There are so many caveats and they just pull certain figures out that should not be used.”
“What we are going to do is do a lot more on the vaccine effectiveness side and try and make people understand how effective the vaccine is. For example, we know it is 50 per cent effective against getting infected, but that it is much higher effectiveness against hospitalizations and deaths which is the key thing really as that’s what we want to prevent.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: SCOTSMAN.COM