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Video: Irish Professor Makes Unfounded Claims About Long-Term Effects of mRNA Vaccines

Update, Aug. 23, 2021: The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which was previously authorized by the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use, received full approval from the agency on Aug. 23 for people 16 years of age and older.

Update, Feb. 10, 2022: The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine received full approval from the FDA on Jan. 31 for individuals 18 years of age and older. 

Our latest video with Univision Noticias addresses baseless claims made by an Irish professor about the long-term effects of the mRNA vaccines.

The mRNA vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. against COVID-19 represent a new vaccine platform, but their development rests on years’ worth of researchincluding clinical trials. And while the vaccines were developed quickly in response to the pandemic, they have been proven to be safe and effective not only in standard clinical trials but in real-world conditions.

Contrary to those facts and without any evidence, Dolores Cahill — a professor in Ireland who until recently was the chair of the right-wing Irish Freedom Party — baselessly claimed in a viral video that COVID-19 mRNA vaccines will cause widespread deaths in the coming years.

Cahill, for example, alleges that “anyone who’s over 70 who gets one of these mRNA vaccines will probably be — sadly die within about two to three years.” But there is no medical evidence for such claims.

Grant McFadden, director of the Biodesign Center for Immunotherapy, Vaccines, and Virotherapy at Arizona State University, told us there “are no scientific reasons to predict complications in these new vaccines in the coming years.”

We produced this video with Univision Noticias as part of a joint project funded by the Google News Initiative to produce bilingual videos and articles about COVID-19 immunization misinformation. The Spanish version of the video can be found on Univision’s website

The video is based on our story, “Irish Professor Makes Unfounded Claims About Long-Term Effects of mRNA Vaccines,” which is available in both Spanish and English. The English language narration was done by FactCheck.org reporter Catalina Jaramillo.