COVID-19: Fully vaccinated people made up just 1% of coronavirus deaths in England in first half of 2021, figures show

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People who were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 accounted for only 1% of all deaths involving coronavirus in England in the first half of this year, new figures show.

Most were infected before they had received both jabs, or had tested positive for COVID within 14 days of their second dose.

The figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the risk of death involving COVID is lower for people who receive two vaccinations compared to one or no dose.

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Of the 51,281 deaths involving COVID in England between 2 January and 2 July, 640 (1.2%) were people who had received both vaccine doses.

This total includes people who had been infected before they were vaccinated.

The figures cover a period when fewer people had received two doses as the vaccination programme continued to be rolled out throughout the country.

Some 458 deaths (0.8%) were people who died at least 21 days after their second dose.

Just 256 deaths (0.5%) were people who were both fully vaccinated and who had their first positive PCR test at least 14 days after their second dose.

A detailed breakdown of the data is available for 252 of the 256 people who died after having received both jabs and who first tested positive at least 14 days after the second dose - what the ONS describes as "breakthrough" deaths.

It shows that just over three-quarters of these deaths (76.6%) occurred in those who were clinically extremely vulnerable - a slightly higher proportion than for other COVID deaths (74.5%) and non-COVID deaths (69.7%).

Some 61.1% of breakthrough deaths occurred in males, which is higher than for other deaths involving COVID (52.2%) and non-COVID deaths (48.5%).

Julie Stanborough, deputy director of health and life events at the ONS, said: "Our new analysis shows that, sadly, there have been deaths of people involving COVID-19 despite them being fully vaccinated.

"However, we've also found that the risk of a death involving COVID-19 is much lower among people who are fully vaccinated than those who are unvaccinated or have only received one dose.

"This shows the effectiveness of the vaccines in giving a high degree of protection against severe illness and death."

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