Fact CheckHealth

Would taking COVID-19 vaccine reduce your lifespan? No!

Claim: According to a viral WhatsApp message, the COVID-19 vaccine shortens your life span and leads to impotency

Would taking COVID-19 vaccine reduce your lifespan? No!

This claim is false and misleading as Dubawa could not find anywhere the professor made this claim. Also, the WHO, several studies and reports do not agree with this claim.

Full Text

As vaccine rollout continues, we have seen an increasing spread of conspiracy theories and misinformation, including claims that the vaccine has been weaponised to depopulate the world.

Recently, a viral WhatsApp message claims that the vaccine reduces the lifespan of as many that took the vaccine. For people below 50 years of age, they are expected to die within 5-10 years while those above 70 will die within 2-3 years. 

The message which was attributed to one professor Dolores Cahill also claims the vaccine makes people impotent.

“anyone who got the vaccine will be dead within 5-10 years time. If you are over 70years old and got the vaccine, -you will be dead within 2-3 years time. But most importantly you become impotent first.”

Excerpt of the WhatsApp message.

Would taking COVID-19 vaccine reduce your lifespan? No!
Screenshot of viral WhatsApp message


Dubawa researched the professor and also conducted a keyword search on the claim.

Who is Dolores Cahill?

Doctor Dolores Cahill up until March 18, 2021,  was a University College Dublin (UCD) professor, who chaired the Eurosceptic Irish Freedom Party, before her resignation on March 22, 2021.

Her incessant online claims around COVID-19 led to a request for her to resign from a leading European Union’s scientific committee and her removal from her lecturing role.

DUBAWA’s keyword search did not yield any useful result as we could not find the WhatsApp claim anywhere online outside WhatsApp. We, however, saw other claims made by the professor.

Previous claims by Dr Cahill

Dr Cahill who was the Professor of Translational Science at the UCD School of Medicine has been one of the leading advocates against lockdown and mask-wearing during the Covid-19 pandemic. She once said that children who wore face masks were being “starved” of oxygen and would have lower IQ.

She also claimed that Lockdown and social distancing are not needed to stop the spread of the virus, as people who recover are “immune for life” after 10 days. She also said death and illnesses can be prevented by extra vitamins like vitamins C, D and zinc.

Opposing vaccinations, she also said politicians and the media are using COVID-19 as a fear-mongering propaganda tool to try and take away rights from people to make them sicker and to force vaccinations on them.

These claims have, however, been fact-checked by the journal which showed they are false and misleading.

Would taking COVID-19 vaccine reduce your lifespan? No!
Screenshot of Fact-check done in the journal

The European Commission in response to these claims said her claims could cause “significant harm” if taken literally. 

Her former institution UCD has also disassociated itself from her comments. 

DUBAWA reached out to the World Health Organisation (WHO) which noted that Dr Cahill’s claim is false, as available COVID-19 vaccines have been assessed for safety and have also been found not to interfere with the human Deoxyribonucleic (DNA).

“There is no evidence of this. COVID-19 vaccines, including mRNA vaccines, save lives and prevent serious illness from COVID-19. The COVID-19 mRNA vaccine technology has been rigorously assessed for safety, and clinical trials have shown that mRNA vaccines provide a long-lasting immune response. mRNA vaccine technology has been studied for several decades, including in the contexts of Zika, rabies, and influenza vaccines. mRNA vaccines are not live virus vaccines and do not interfere with human DNA.”

Excerpt of WHO’s comment.

The claim that the COVID-19 vaccine makes one impotent is false as the possibility of impotency has been discussed only in association with the virus, not the vaccine. A 2020 study has suggested COVID-19 survivors might develop sexual and reproductive health issues; however, the study noted that evidence from diagnostic procedures, such as penile color-doppler ultrasound and hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis evaluation is necessary to assess the extent to which COVID-19 has been able to impair erectile, and finally vascular, function.

Relatedly, vaccination and adhering to recommended COVID-19 guidelines have been advised to avoid any possible side effect associated with COVID-19.

Would taking COVID-19 vaccine reduce your lifespan? No!
Screenshot of study

Also,  DUBAWA’s explainer throws more light on the COVID-19 vaccine and fertility issues for both men and women. This article shows fertility of men and women is not affected by COVID-19 vaccines.

While studies on the virus continue, the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists notes that none of the vaccines rolled out so far has been found to make men or women infertile. 


The claim attributed to Professor Cahill is false and misleading as Dubawa could not find anywhere the professor made this claim. In addition, the WHO, and other studies and reports do not agree with this claim.

Even if the claim was made by the professor, her reputation with propagating a number of strongly rejected claims about COVID-19 questions her credibility and makes COVID-19 information from her not trustworthy.

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