Pandemrix Déjà vu

Some people are faced with a difficult choice over whether or not to vaccinate their children to Covid-19. This article discusses some of the history of the swine-flu vaccination campaign in 2009-2010 and analyses some of the Irish Central Statistics Office Covid-19 death figures by age group. This is an excerpt from the longer article “What is the purpose of your journey”

Pandemrix Déjà vu

In 2009 the Swine flu pandemic was announced and while promoting the use of a new vaccine called “Pandemrix” the Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan said there was “nothing to be worried about”.

However many children developed narcolepsy after taking that vaccine. Click here for an Irish Independent newspaper report in 2016 about the Irish State deciding to fight compensating those cases and click here for a news report in 2020 on the resolution of a test case when the State eventually settled by making a payout (without admitting liability) to a boy who developed narcolepsy after taking a Swine flu vaccination and now is on medication for life and unable to play sports. An HSE report found that 5 to 19 year olds who took the vaccine became 13 to 14 times more likely to develop narcolepsy than those who did not. There were about 100 more similar cases pending in Ireland.

Here is a an excerpt from an RTE report in 2009:

The Department of Health has moved to reassure the public about the safety of the swine flu vaccine, following concerns in Germany about a medicine which has been ordered for use in Ireland.

One German medical organisation has advised against using Pandemrix because of concerns about the safety of a booster substance used in it.

However Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said there was nothing to be worried about.

Reading these recent reports about what happened the last time an under-tested vaccine was rolled out is unsettling when juxtaposed with the fantasy again being woven about the moral imperative of universal Covid-19 vaccination.

Protecting our young people

I would encourage parents to ignore the social media misinformation, there is a lot of nonsense out there, there is a lot of scaremongering out there … Yesterday, I announced that the vaccine registration portal was opening to all those aged 16 and 17 years old and today’s announcement is an important step in offering that same protection to our younger population.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly

Reading the above quote one would assume that our teenagers and children are in some serious danger from Covid-19. We get a barrage of statistical information about rising cases in the younger cohorts of society but precious little in terms of outcomes. Thankfully the Central Statistics Office have published some relevant data.

The “Vital Statistics Yearly Summary” for 2020 was published on the 28th of May 2021 and is available here:

From that data set of 31,765 deaths in 2020 I composed the following graph in excel to try to visualise death by age group and cause:

Death by age group and cause Ireland 2020. source data from

The with “Covid-19 virus identified and virus unidentified” toll is highlighted in orange near the top of each age category from 25 years old upwards. There were no Covid related or suspected deaths in any category under 25 years old.

The with “Covid-19 virus identified and virus unidentified” contribution to death in the younger cohorts gets a bit lost when showing all causes and all ages so I composed another graph for the under 65s showing death with “Covid-19 virus identified and virus unidentified”, suicide and some of the accidental death categories:

RIsk of Death from COVID Compared to suicide and SOme of the Accident Categories. Source Data:

Some 2020 points of interest:

  • In the under 25s there were no deaths with or suspected with Covid but there were 51 suicides.
  • 25 to 34 year olds were nearly 12 times more likely to die from suicide than with Covid-19 or suspected with
  • 35 to 44 year olds were over 9 times more likely to commit suicide than die with or Covid-19 or suspected with
  • 45 to 54 year olds were 3.8 times more likely to commit suicide than die with Covid-19 or suspected
  • Between the ages of 55 and 64 years old risk of death with or suspected of being with Covid-19 was slightly greater than from suicide.

A more up-to-date data-set called “Covid-19 Deaths and Cases” was published on the 7th of May 2021 and is available here:

This is all the CSO death data with Covid-19 up to the 30th of April 2021. The Covid figures in this data-set are smaller proportionally I think as they only count “confirmed” cases, as opposed to confirmed and suspected cases.

Composing a graph of “Covid-19 confirmed deaths” by age group we get:

COvid-19 deaths in Ireland to April 30th 2021. Source Data:

There were six “Covid-19 confirmed deaths” in the 25 to 44 year old age bracket for the period but I would have to make the graph extremely tall for them to become visible here.

I don’t know how many young people became seriously ill with Covid, but these statistics show that as we descend the age categories, the risk of death with Covid-19 in Ireland approaches zero, and that young people throughout the pandemic have had greater mortal risks to contend with, especially in mental health.