Deaths in the Australian state of Victoria, where 95 percent of adults have received Covid vaccines and most are boosted with mRNA shots, soared to their highest level in at least 13 years in August - far above the five-year average.
Victoria offers almost unique data: near-real-time reporting on death trends in millions of people who are heavily vaccinated but had little exposure to Covid before being jabbed.
The picture is increasingly grim.
Victoria registered 4,896 deaths from all causes in August, 27 percent above the monthly average of the previous five Augusts. Mortality in Australia typically peaks June through August, the Southern Hemisphere’s winter, but the figure is only the latest in a disturbing trend.
So far in 2022, Victoria has registered 32,533 deaths, 20 percent above its average for the same eight-month period from 2017 through 2021. Victoria has had more than 4000 deaths in five months since February; it crossed that threshold only in seven months in the previous 12 years.
In general, deaths in Victoria have typically fallen in a very narrow band. In each year from 2017 to 2021, the state reported between 26,350 and 27,800 deaths for the eight months from January to August.