The claim: CDC data shows COVID-19 vaccines could lower life expectancy by up to 24 years
“BREAKING: According to new CDC data, the Covid vaccine could take 24 years off of your life,” reads the post.
The post was liked more than 1,000 times in two weeks. The X post appears to have been deleted.
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Our rating: False
There is no evidence any data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a link between COVID-19 vaccines and lower life expectancy. The dataset cited in a related article wasn’t released until months after the claim was made. The claim originated with a website that frequently publishes misinformation.
Claim started on site that often shares vaccine misinformation
The article cites a study that looked at the effectiveness of a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine among Cleveland Clinic employees. The study found the vaccine “afforded modest protection overall” when given to working-age adults. It did not address life expectancy.
The article also claims the CDC’s all-cause mortality data shows “each vaccine dose” increased mortality by 7% from 2021 to 2022. However, provisional mortality data for 2022 from the CDC wasn’t released until May 5, nearly three months after the article was published. It says the “overall age-adjusted U.S. death rate decreased by 5.3% from 2021 to 2022.”
USA TODAY has previously debunked baseless claims from The Expose, including that the COVID-19 vaccines were responsible for 1.1 million excess deaths, that the CDC reported a jump in “AIDS-associated diseases and cancers” after the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and that monkeypox is a side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The CDC’s website describes the COVID-19 vaccines as “safe and effective,” and it notes they’ve been evaluated in tens of thousands of clinical trial participants. There is no mention of the vaccines leading to a shortened life expectancy.
The CDC did not respond to a request for comment.
COVID-19 has contributed to a recent decline in life expectancy, which fell 1.8 years in 2020 and 0.6 years in 2021 to reach 76.4 years, as USA TODAY previously reported.
USA TODAY reached out to the social media user who shared the post for comment but did not immediately receive a response.
AFP also debunked the claim.
Our fact-check sources:
- MedRXiv, March 22, Effectiveness of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Bivalent Vaccine
- Yale Medicine, May 22, Comparing the COVID-19 Vaccines: How Are They Different?
- CDC, May 5, Provisional Mortality Data — United States, 2022
- CDC, Dec. 8, 2022, Mortality in the United States, 2021
- CDC, Sept. 12, 2023, Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines
- CDC, Sept. 12, 2023, Getting Your COVID-19 Vaccine
- CDC, Sept. 12, 2023, Selected Adverse Events Reported after COVID-19 Vaccination
- USA TODAY, Dec. 22, 2022, Americans’ life expectancy continues to fall, erasing health gains of the last quarter century
- USA TODAY, Dec. 22, 2022, Nearly 107,000 drug overdoses, COVID deaths, push US life expectancy to lowest in 25 years
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