Covid-19 webinar series: Vaccinations and update on Test, Trace and Protect - report

On Wednesday 15 April 2021, the RSS Official Statistics Section and Health Statistics User Group (HSUG) organised the fourth in a series of webinars on topics relating to collecting and reporting statistics for Covid-19. This webinar series focuses on statistical methods for Covid-19 and involves sharing experiences and discussing approaches across the four nations of the UK.

The webinar was split into two halves:

Part 1: A follow-up from presenters from the previous webinar on 28 January 2021 held on Test, Trace and Protect and an update on the ONS Infection Survey
Part 2: Overview of statistics published so far on vaccinations, and discuss plans for further development of these statistics.

Summary of Part 1

Test, Trace and Protect:

  • The Four Nations Group meet on a regular basis and exchange knowledge, plans and ideas. They also discuss issues that occur, and resolutions found for those problems to share learning.
  • Representatives from the Four Nations Group, Alexandra Fitzpatrick (Welsh Government) and Jade Carruthers (PHS) were supported by other colleagues from Northern Ireland and England for the update
  • There was a discussion on the different methods used by each country for these statistics and a caution was given for comparing figures across the UK due to the different methodologies used.
ONS Infection Survey:
  • Russell Black from the ONS presented this section.  An update to the presentation from the last webinar on the UK wide household survey was provided, along with results and information on new developments.

Summary of Part 2

Scotland: Diane Stockton (PHS) Chris Robertson (University of Strathclyde)
  • Discussion on looking at the effectiveness of the national vaccination programme was made
  • Analysis done by Public Health Scotland and academic researchers from the University of Strathclyde under the EAVE programme was also showcased
  • This presentation covered vaccinations, hospitalisations and vaccine effect.
England: Colin Campbell, Camille Tsang (PHE)
  • In this presentation the highlight was the issue of vaccination coverage
  • It specifically mentioned reasons on how it is often a more complex issue than what is assumed
  • A specific issue that was mentioned was establishing the numerators and denominators in the calculations.
Vahé Nafilyan: Socio-Demographic Analysis (ONS)
  • There were four main characteristics discussed: ethnicity, religion, disability and deprivation.
  • For each of these characteristics, there was data on vaccination rates and the odds ratio of not having been vaccinated compared with a control group.

More information
A recording of the webinar can be found on the RSS YouTube channel and presentations and the Q&A can be found on the HSUG website.

In addition, if you have other ideas for topics for Covid-19 webinars then please let the HSUG know at

Hira Naveed is the RSS Official Statistics Section (OSS) Meeting Secretary.

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