No evidence mRNA COVID-19 vaccine reduces lifespan

AN Irish professor and anti-vaccination advocate Dolores Cahill claimed in a video circulated on WhatsApp, in Nigeria, that the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine could reduce the lifespan of a user and cause severe health challenges like infertility.

The Claim

The mRNA COVID-19 vaccine reduces lifespan.

The Findings

The FactCheckHub findings show that the claim is FALSE. There is no evidence to substantiate it.

In the 57-second video retrieved on April 19, 2021, the professor stated that “anyone who’s over 70 who gets one of these mRNA vaccines will probably be — sadly die within about two to three years.”

She added that, aside reduced lifespan, there could be severe health issues.

“And I would say anyone who gets the mRNA injection, no matter what age you are, your life expectancy will be reduced. You may die if you’re in your thirties within five to ten years, and you probably will have allergy, neuro-cognitive issues, inflammation, and of course infertility is the major one.”

The video clip of Cahill, which was from a longer version, has been repeatedly posted on platforms such as FacebookTwitter and Blogs and is branded as coming from a group called the ‘World Freedom Alliance,’ which Cahill helped found in 2020.

Cahill is a professor at the School of Medicine in University College, Dublin.  She has previously come under criticism for her comments on COVID-19, which were often found to be baseless or misleading.



    The claim in the circulated clip is no different, as available information and the global health authority, the World Health Organization (WHO), dismissed it.

    More so, the claim that the vaccine causes infertility has been debunked here and here.

    The mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine

    There are several categories of  vaccine for COVID-19, and the mRNA (Nucleic acid vaccine) is one of them.

    It works by teaching the cells how to make a protein—or even just a piece of a protein—that triggers an immune response inside the body.

    This immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects the body from getting infected if the real virus enters.

    Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen are brands of the mRNA vaccine.

    The general side effects of the mRNA vaccines, as stated by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are pain, redness and swelling. while the rest of the body go through tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea. Reduction in lifespan is not part of it.

    There were cases of blood clots which led to the suspension of one of the mRNA brands, but even that has been lifted and certified safe with a caveat.

    A small number of people also had serious allergic reactions to the vaccine, which led to the CDC’s advice that individuals who had previously experienced anaphylaxis or had any kind of immediate allergic reaction to any vaccine should be monitored for  half an hour after getting the shot.

    The CDC also advised against vaccination for those with a serious allergic reaction to any of the authorised COVID-19 vaccines or any of their ingredients.

    COVID-19 mRNA vaccine infographic.
    COVID-19 mRNA vaccine infographic.

    Similarly, the WHO stated that the side effects of all the COVID-19 vaccines had been mild and moderate so far.

    In addition, a professor, who is a WHO Infection, Prevention and Control Expert Adebola Olayinka told The FactCheckHub that mRNA vaccine, like every other certified vaccine, would not change the genetic composition of the body, neither would it reduce the lifespan of a user.

    “It is not true that mRNA vaccine or any other vaccine certified by WHO can reduce lifespan or cause any other severe health issues. These vaccines have been tested and certified suitable for human consumption,” the professor stated.

    The FactCheckHub had earlier debunked a claim that the COVID-19 vaccination would turn humans to vampires.

    The Verdict

    The claim that mRNA COVID-19 vaccine reduces lifespan is FALSE; there is no evidence to substantiate it.

    'Niyi worked with The ICIR as an Investigative Reporter and Fact-checker from 2020 till September 2022. You can shoot him an email via [email protected]. You can as well follow him on Twitter via @niyi_oyedeji.

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