Just nine people in Britain have died directly from a Covid vaccine, government statisticians declared today in an attempt to squash concerns about the jabs.
The Office for National Statistics counted fatalities confirmed by either a doctor or coroner, who have to certify the cause to the 'best of their knowledge or belief'.
For deaths where a vaccine is suspected of being one of the contributing causes of death, a lengthy investigation has to be carried out.
The ONS admitted its figure — made up of four deaths in England, four in Scotland and one in Northern Ireland — is bound to rise as more go through this process over the coming months.
But scientists today questioned the number, which does not yet take into account dozens of deaths linked to AstraZeneca's vaccine and rare blood clots.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the UK's drugs watchdog, says there have been 72 deaths from clots after that jab alone.
Professor Lawrence Young, a virologist from Warwick University, said the ONS' figure seemed 'too low, given the information from the MHRA'.
He told MailOnline it 'highlights the need for more detailed investigation to reconcile these different estimates'.
The Government credits AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna's jabs with saving 112,000 lives and averting 24million Covid infections.
For deaths where a vaccine is suspected of being one of the contributing causes of death, a lengthy investigation has to be carried out. Pictured, a pharmacist prepares to give out the Pfizer vaccine, which is known as Comirnaty
The proportion of Britons who had their first jab by September 26. Younger groups have only recently been invited for a vaccine
Rigorous trials have shown the vaccines to be completely safe for the vast majority of people, including children.
But there is a very small risk of side effects, which in an even smaller number of patients can be deadly.
Moderna and Pfizer's vaccines have been linked to heart inflammation known as myocarditis, particularly in young people.
Only around 55 per cent of 16 and 17-year-olds in England had their first dose by September 26, latest data shows, a number which had barely risen in the previous three weeks.
The analysis was revealed in a weekly report by the new UK Health Security Agency, which took over axed Public Health England's pandemic duties.
It showed that uptake in the age group was sitting at about 20 per cent at the start of August.
This shot up to 50 per cent in the three weeks after the roll-out was expanded to all older teenagers on August 19.