Covid-19 reporting criteria consistency

Erika Whittome made this Official Information request to Andrew Little

Response to this request is long overdue. By law Andrew Little should have responded by now (details and exceptions). You can complain to the Ombudsman.

From: Erika Whittome

Dear Andrew Little,

I note the Ministry of Health changed the definition of a Covid-19 death which extends the time frame to 28 days:

Deceased: Includes all cases that died who died within 28 days of being reported as a COVID-19 case. In some of these cases, the underlying cause of death may have been unrelated to COVID-19.

Medsafe have the following section on post vaccine deaths in their latest safety report for the Comirnaty vaccine for deaths:

Summary of reported deaths
Up to and including 28 February 2022, a total of 156 deaths were reported to CARM after the administration of the Comirnaty vaccine. Following medical assessments by CARM and Medsafe it has been determined that:

89 of these deaths are unlikely related to the COVID-19 vaccine
51 deaths could not be assessed due to insufficient information
14 cases are still under investigation.
2 deaths were likely due to vaccine induced myocarditis (awaiting Coroner’s determination
(https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/COVID-19/saf...).

My OIAs
1. Please provide a report on the Medsafe deaths with the same 28 day criteria for deaths post vaccine, ie the vaccine recipient died with 28 days after any Comirnaty dose administration.

2. Please provide a report on COVID-19 disease deaths which identify and count deaths for groups which are considered “unrelated”. I use the term “unrelated” because the term is also used to describe the vaccine deaths. For example where COVID-19 was not the primary cause of death, where the deceased has co-morbidities, terminally ill with cancer etc, etc. Medsafe report on these “unrelated” deaths for the vaccine. The same consistent reporting for the disease deaths is my request.

Yours faithfully,

Erika Whittome

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From: A Little Office (MIN)
Andrew Little

Tçnâ koe

 

Thank you for contacting the office of Hon Andrew Little MP, Minister of
Health, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Minister Responsible
for the NZSIS, Minister Responsible for the GCSB, Minister Responsible for
Pike River Re-entry and Lead Coordination Minister for the Government’s
Response to The Royal Commission’s Report into the Terrorist Attack on the
Christchurch Mosques.

 

For the latest updates on COVID-19, we encourage you to check the
dedicated [1]COVID-19 and [2]Ministry of Health websites regularly. They
will be updated as soon as new information is available.

 

For general health advice and information you can call Healthline on
Freephone 0800 611 116 anytime.

 

If you need to talk to someone about how you are feeling, you can call or
text 1737 for free at any time to talk to a trained counsellor. There is
more information available here: [3]https://1737.org.nz/.

 

While the Minister considers all correspondence to be important, and all
messages are carefully read and considered, it is not always possible to
personally reply to all emails. As such, the following guidelines apply:

 

·       If your message is for Minister Little’s advice, or if you have
copied your email to another Minister and/or Member of Parliament with
more appropriate portfolio responsibilities, then this will be noted,

·       If you have invited Minister Little to an event then a member of
staff may contact you for more information if the Minister’s attendance
might be possible,

·       If you have made a request for official information then this will
be managed in accordance with the provisions of the Official Information
Act 1982, which may include transfer to a more relevant Minister or
agency,

·       If you have made a request under the Privacy Act then this will be
managed in accordance with the principles of the Privacy Act 1993, which
may include transfer to a more relevant Minister or agency,

·       If you are a journalist then your request will be triaged by a
press secretary,

·       To find out more about Minister Little read his [4]biography or
recent [5]statements.

 

Ngâ mihi

 

Office of Hon Andrew Little MP
Reception +64 4 817 8707 | Ministerial Email [6][Andrew Little request email]
| Web [7]beehive.govt.nz | Postal Freepost Parliament, Private Bag 18 041,
Parliament Buildings, Wellington 6160, New Zealand

 

 

 

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From: Steph Harding


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Kia ora Erika
On behalf of Hon Andrew Little, Minister of Health, thank you for your
Official Information request of 2 April 2022.

 

You requested:

"1. Please provide a report on the Medsafe deaths with the same 28 day
criteria for deaths post vaccine, ie the vaccine recipient died with 28
days after any Comirnaty dose administration.

2. Please provide a report on COVID-19 disease deaths which identify and
count deaths for groups which are considered “unrelated”. I use the term
“unrelated” because the term is also used to describe the vaccine deaths. 
For example where COVID-19 was not the primary cause of death, where the
deceased has co-morbidities, terminally ill with cancer etc, etc. Medsafe 
report on these “unrelated” deaths for the vaccine. The same consistent
reporting for the disease deaths is my request.”

 

The information requested appears to be more closely associated with the
functions and responsibilities of the Ministry of Health. Accordingly I am
transferring your request to the Ministry of Health under section
14(b)(ii) of the Official Information Act 1982.

You have the right, under section 28 of the Act, to ask the Ombudsman to
review this decision to transfer your request for information.

 

Ngā mihi nui

 

 

Steph Harding
Private Secretary (Health)

 

Office of Hon Andrew Little MP, Minister of Health, Lead Coordination
Minister for the Government’s Response to The Royal Commission’s Report
into the Terrorist Attack on the Christchurch Mosques, Minister for Treaty
of Waitangi Negotiations, Minister Responsible for the NZSIS, Minister
Responsible for the GCSB, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry
Reception +64 4 817 8707 | Ministerial Email
[1][Andrew Little request email] | Web [2]beehive.govt.nz | Postal Freepost
Parliament, Private Bag 18 041, Parliament Buildings, Wellington 6160, New
Zealand

[3]https://xink.io/wp-content/themes/Xink/a...

Please note information about meetings related to the Ministers’
portfolios will be proactively released (this does not include personal or
constituency matters). For each meeting in scope, the summary would list:
date, time (start and finish), brief description, location, who the
meeting was with, and the portfolio. If you attend a meeting with the
Minister on behalf of an organisation, the name of the organisation will
be released. If you are a senior staff member at an organisation, or meet
with the Minister in your personal capacity, your name may also be
released. The location of the meeting will be released, unless it is a
private residence. The proactive release will be consistent with the
provisions in the Official Information Act, including privacy
considerations. Under the Privacy Act 1993 you have the right to ask for a
copy of any personal information we hold about you, and to ask for it to
be corrected if you think it is wrong. If you’d like to ask for a copy of
your information, or to have it corrected, or are concerned about the
release of your information in the meeting disclosure, please contact the
sender. You can read more about the proactive release policy at
[8]https://www.dia.govt.nz/Proactive-Releas...

Authorised by Hon Andrew Little MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington 6160,
New Zealand

 

 

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From: OIA Requests


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Kia ora Erika,

 

Thank you for your request for official information which was transferred
from the Office of Hon Andrew Little, Minister of Health and received by
the Ministry of Health on 4 April 2022. The Ministry’s reference number
for your request is H202205072.

 

If you need to contact us at any stage about your request, please quote
this reference number in your correspondence. You requested:

 

“1. Please provide a report on the Medsafe deaths with the same 28 day
criteria for deaths post vaccine, ie the vaccine recipient died with 28
days after any Comirnaty dose administration.

2. Please provide a report on COVID-19 disease deaths which identify and
count deaths for groups which are considered “unrelated”. I use the term
“unrelated” because the term is also used to describe the vaccine deaths. 
For example where COVID-19 was not the primary cause of death, where the
deceased has co-morbidities, terminally ill with cancer etc, etc. Medsafe 
report on these “unrelated” deaths for the vaccine. The same consistent
reporting for the disease deaths is my request.”

 

Your request has been logged and you can expect a reply no later than 29
April 2022 as required under the Official Information Act 1982.

 

Ngâ mihi

 

OIA Services

Government Services

Office of the Director-General

Ministry of Health

E: [1][email address]

 

 

 

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References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

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From: OIA Requests


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Tçnâ koe Erika,

 

Thank you for your consolidated requests  under the Official Information
Act 1982 (the Act) to the Ministry of Health (the Ministry) on 2 and 7
April 2022. You asked:

 

1. Please provide a report on the Medsafe deaths with the same 28 day
criteria for deaths post vaccine, ie the vaccine recipient died with 28
days after any Comirnaty dose administration.

Information on reports of death occurring after people have been
vaccinated and an analysis of the observed number of deaths compared to
the expected number can be found on the adverse events following
immunisation (AEFI) reports published on Medsafe’s website:
[1]www.medsafe.govt.nz/COVID-19/vaccine-report-overview.asp.

 

Medsafe cannot compare the observed numbers of deaths with the expected
number for 28 days post vaccine as individuals can receive dose two within
28 days of receiving dose one. For reports to Centre for Adverse Reactions
Monitoring (CARM), Medsafe does not make any cut off as it would depend
what side effect the vaccine caused to how long the appropriate follow up
would be for death.

2. Please provide a report on COVID-19 disease deaths which identify and
count deaths for groups which are considered “unrelated”. I use the term
“unrelated” because the term is also used to describe the vaccine deaths.
For example where COVID-19 was not the primary cause of death, where the
deceased has co-morbidities, terminally ill with cancer etc, etc. Medsafe
report on these “unrelated” deaths for the vaccine. The same consistent
reporting for the disease deaths is my request.

Detailed data on the health status of recent deaths of people with
COVID-19 is not reported nationally in real time. Due to the shift from
active management of cases during phase three of the Omicron response,
co-morbidities information is now primarily collected in hospitals and is
provided to the Ministry by the district health boards (DHBs) within 21
days of the month of discharge. Due to this lag and other reporting
processes, the Ministry is processing this data and will release it when
it is able to do so. The Ministry acknowledges the high level of public
interest in the release of this information and is looking at providing as
much information as possible while preserving privacy. The extent to which
COVID-19 contributed to a person’s death is recorded on the Ministry’s
website:
[2]www.health.govt.nz/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-data-and-statistics/covid-19-case-demographics
and these figures will continue to change as these deaths are reviewed. 

 

3. I see in this OIA that Mrs Petousis-Harris is a member of a MoH
governance group.

[3]https://scanmail.trustwave.com/?c=15517&...

Kindly explain how she attends these meetings in 2021 with no email
correspondence from the Minister of Health or Ministry of Health staff?

 

The Ministry of Health understands this request is in response to a
separate request you made to the Office of the Minister of Health, Hon
Andrew Little for emails between the Minister (and his staff) and
Associate Professor Helen Petousis-Harris (ALOIA121 refers). Please be
advised the Minister’s office and the Ministry of Health are separate
agencies and therefore have different staff. Members of the COVID-19
Vaccine Technical Advisory Group receive meeting invitations from the
secretariat of the group.

 

Under section 28(3) of the Act, you have the right to ask the Ombudsman to
review any decisions made under this request. The Ombudsman may be
contacted by email at: [4][email address] or by calling 0800
802 602.

 

Ngâ mihi

OIA Services

Government Services

Office of the Director-General

Ministry of Health

E: [5][email address]

 

 

 

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References

Visible links
1. https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/COVID-19/vac...
2. https://www.health.govt.nz/covid-19-nove...
3. https://scanmail.trustwave.com/?c=15517&...
4. mailto:[email address]
5. mailto:[email address]

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Andrew Little only: