Statistics Data Out By Millions Of People
Implications of the Office for National Statistics estimates of Covid-19 vaccine take up in England on the representativeness of its sample population
In its most recent vaccine mortality surveillance report the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimated just 8% of adults in England were unvaccinated by the end of May 2022. However, the ONS estimates are based on a special subset of the England population. Other independent estimates for the whole of the population in May were higher: the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) estimated 20%, while a large independent survey by ICM found 26%. Assuming the ONS estimate is correct for its subset of the England population and that the other independent estimates of between 20 and 26% for the whole population are also correct then between 69% and 99.6% of adults missing from the ONS sample are unvaccinated. This would mean the ONS sample is unrepresentative of the whole England population and any conclusions about vaccine take-up, efficacy and safety based on the ONS data may not be relevant to the population as a whole.
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