Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


The unofficial vaccine educators: are CDC funded non-profits sufficiently independent?

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 07 November 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5104

Rapid Response:

To American pediatricians: please, please read this article!

I've known for a long time that the CDC, AAP and other vaccine advocacy groups had serious financial and professional conflicts of interest, but Peter Doshi's investigative report still comes as a shocking revelation. It is hard to grasp the particulars in this web of complexity, but it rings true.

For 30 years I was in the trenches of the infant formula wars, beginning with a seminal article on the health advantages of breastfeeding in wealthy countries. (Cunningham, J Pediatr 1977;90:726) I was also a small cog in the wheels of US pediatric officialdom. In the late 1990s I withdrew from membership in the AAP, largely because of their professional and financial links to the manufacturers of Enfamil, Similac, etc. It was around this time that I also became aware of the non-humanitarian motives driving our immunization programs.

There are a few truly lifesaving vaccines on the US immunization schedule, but it has become clear that our knowledge of the long term safety and effectiveness of many vaccines is quite limited. This has not stopped the CDC, AAP and other "non-profits" from bullying families to submit to mandates for any and all vaccines. Near the end of my career as a medical school faculty member I was reprimanded and publicly rebuked by superiors for expressing reservations about vaccine mandates and my doubts about routine flu shots for children.

Read Doshi's article; read it again, and yet again....

Competing interests: No competing interests

08 November 2017
Allan S. Cunningham
Retired pediatrician
Cooperstown NY 13326, USA