March 4, 2024 3:19 am

Breaking News: Australian FOIA Request on C0VID Deaths Reveals Just 19% Died From COVID-19 Alone

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Breaking News: Australian FOIA Request on C0VID Deaths Reveals Just 19% Died From COVID-19 Alone

By James Rubino

A just-released Freedom of Information Act request has revealed some significant data about the threat Covid posed to Australians – and is sure to raise questions about whether the harsh lockdowns and policing measures used by governments across the country in response to this threat were proportionate and data-driven.

This publication filed the FOIA request and the documents were delivered days ago. All documents are available to download below.

Key Findings

Total of 3,402 Covid Related Deaths Recorded in Australia at the time of this report

There have been 40 deaths among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The crude case fatality rate is slightly lower among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (0.12%) than non-Indigenous Australians (0.32%).

81% of those who died had at least one specified comorbidity

deaths comorbidity

71% had a pre-existing chronic condition

comorbidity

From Document 2, Pages 2,3:

Hospitalisation outcome was available for 91% of cases admitted to ICU between 1 July and 14 December 2021, and of these 17% (345/2,070) of cases were reported to have died.

Where comorbidity information was available, 81% of those who died had at least one of the specified comorbidities.

For cases in the current wave, i.e. those admitted to ICU from 15 December 2021 to 16 January 2022, outcome information is unknown for 71% of cases, and is therefore not reliable for analysis at this stage.

Listed comorbidities include cardiac disease, chronic respiratory condition, diabetes, obesity, chronic renal disease, chronic neurological condition, malignancy, chronic liver disease and immunosuppression.

The most common comorbidity in those ICU patients who died with COVID-19 in the period is diabetes (40% of patients with at least one co-morbidity), followed by obesity {27% of patients with at least one co-morbidity)

71.2% of people had pre-existing chronic conditions certified on their death certificate. Chronic heart diseases were the most common pre-existing chronic condition for those who died from COVID-19.

During Omicron, 84% of Covid Deaths have been in people aged 70 and over, including 24% in people aged 90 and over

84percent

From Document 4, page 2.

Approximately 40% of all Covid deaths (1,356 of 3,402 total) occurred in residential aged care facilities

residential aged care

As of 28 January 2022. From Document 4, page 2.

70% of “Omicron” COVID-19 Deaths Were Fully Vaccinated 2 Doses

vax effective

From Document 4:

Among jurisdictions with at least 75% available data on vaccination status of COVID-19 deaths, approximately 24% of COVID-19 deaths occurring during the current Omicron wave had no effective vaccination and approximately 70% of COVID-19 deaths occurring during the current Omicron wave were fully vaccinated 2 doses (Table 2 and 3).

 

Information and limitations of the data

  • The following data has been extracted from SPRINT-SARI on 18 January 2022 and represents cases with an ICU admission date of 1 July 2021 to 16 January 2022.
  • SPRINT-SARI is a sentinel system that collects detailed data on the characteristics and outcomes of interventions for patients admitted to ICUs or High Dependency Units with COVID-19 at participating sites across Australia.
  • In the absence of comprehensive genetic sequencing data capture, timeframe has been used as a proxy for the ‘Delta wave’ and ‘Omicron wave’ respectively.
  • For the purposes of this analysis, ICU admission dates from 1 July to 14 December 2021 are considered to be predominantly driven by Delta. Those with admission dates after 14 December 2021 are considered most likely to be driven by the Omicron strain.

From Document 4:

  • Currently Victoria and the ACT are excluded from analyses by vaccination status due to poor data completeness.
  • Co-morbidities of cases are not routinely collected by public health authorities. Collection of these data is reliant on a more extensive and time-consuming case interview and therefore quality data are currently not collected routinely as it has been perceived as not directly beneficial to the public health response. There is no standalone register or alternative data
    source of people with co-morbidities to enable linkage to notification data and identification of these people. As such, co-morbidities are not currently a required field in National Interoperable Notifiable Disease Surveillance System (NINDSS) reporting for COVID-19.

Analysis of the Data

Charts Only Page 1

COVID-19 Cases Admitted to ICU by AGE and VACCINATION STATUS

Important information to note about this data:

Given the staged vaccination rollout in 2021, with older age groups being eligible for vaccination first, it is expected that a larger proportion of cases during the Delta wave, particularly in those aged under 50, are unvaccinated.

Therefore, comparisons of vaccine effectiveness between the two waves should be undertaken with caution. 

For instance, while there is a larger proportion of cases in ICU who are fully vaccinated in the Omicron wave compared to the Delta wave (46% vs. 5%), this is likely due to having a more vaccinated underlying population during the current wave rather than a difference in the effect of the vaccine on the two variants.

Charts: COVID-19 Cases Admitted to ICU by AGE and VACCINATION STATUS (Delta Strain vs Omicron Strain)

Information below is from Document 2, Table 1.

COVID-19 cases admitted to ICU at participating SPRINT SARI sentinel sites by vaccination status and age group, 1 July 2021 – 16 January 2022

Charts Only Page 2

Charts: COVID-19 Cases Admitted to ICU by AGE and VACCINATION STATUS as a % of population (Delta Strain vs Omicron Strain)

Charts Only Page 3

Charts: COVID-19 Cases Admitted to ICU by AGE (Delta Strain vs Omicron Strain)

Charts Only Page 4
Charts Only Page 5

Charts: Total COVID-19 Cases by AGE

Charts Only Page 6

Charts: Total COVID-19 Cases by AGE GROUP (Delta Variant)

Charts Only Page 7

Document Release Information

Document no. Date Pages Description Decision on access (RI/RE) Exemption
1 8 November 2021 8 Email – Data on COVID-19 hospitalisation/ICU and deaths RI s22
2 21 January 2022 3 Brief – Data on Omicron trends, deaths/ICU hospitalisation RI s22
3 23 January 2022 6 Brief – Analysis of Omicron cases RE s47C

s22

4 01 February 2022 12 Brief – COVID-19 associated deaths RE s47C

s22

5 02 February 2022 9 Brief – Analysis of Omicron cases RE s47C

s22

1 RI = Release with irrelevant information removed, RE = Release with exempt information removed.

Read The Documents

FOIA Documents For Download
Document 1: Email Data on COVID-19 hospitalisation/ICU and deaths

Document 2: Brief – Data on Omicron trends, deaths/ICU hospitalisation

Document 3: Brief – Analysis of Omicron cases

Document 4: Brief – COVID-19 associated deaths

Document 5: Brief – Analysis of Omicron cases

Notice of Decision – FOIA 3565

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