Fully vaccinated people are much less likely to die with Covid-19 than those who aren’t, or have had only one dose, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.
Out of more than 51,000 Covid deaths in England between January and July 2021, only 256 occurred after two doses.
They were mostly people at very high risk from illness from Covid-19.
The figures show the high degree of protection from the vaccines against illness and death, the ONS said.
Some deaths following vaccination were always expected because vaccines are not 100% effective – but this analysis shows that they are uncommon.
“Breakthrough” deaths disproportionately affect the most vulnerable, men and those with weakened immune systems, with an average age of 84.
However, the overall numbers were very low, accounting for only 0.5 percent of all Covid-19 deaths in the first six months of the year.
A “breakthrough death” is one that involves Covid-19 and occurs in someone who received both vaccine doses and had a first positive coronavirus test at least 14 days after the second jab.
“Our new analysis shows that, sadly, there have been deaths of people involving Covid-19 despite them being fully vaccinated,” said Julie Stanborough of the ONS.
“However, we’ve also discovered that the risk of death from Covid-19 is much lower among fully vaccinated people than among unvaccinated people.”
Thirteen percent of those who died after two doses were immunocompromised, 61 percent were male, and more than 75 percent were clinically extremely vulnerable.
In the United Kingdom, 80 percent of people aged 16 and up have received two doses, and nearly 90 percent have received one dose.
Since vaccinations were first offered to priority, high-risk groups, as recommended by the UK’s vaccine advisory body, comparing the number of deaths in vaccinated and unvaccinated groups over time is ineffective.
As more people are vaccinated, the number of fully vaccinated people who become infected with Covid and die as a result of it will rise – though Covid deaths are much lower now than they were before vaccines.