CDC Hired Ad Firm to Write ‘News’ Articles Promoting Flu Shots for Kids, Elderly, Documents Reveal

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hired a marketing firm to write what looked like news articles but were actually ad placements created to persuade parents of young children and elderly people to get flu shots, according to documents obtained by Children’s Health Defense (CHD).

The documents, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, show the CDC in September 2020 hired Weber Shandwick, a marketing firm, to create and place unattributed articles on news sites.

The campaign was part of a multi-year, $32 million dollar contract between Weber Shandwick and the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) to promote influenza vaccination and strengthen NCIRD’s immunization program.


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