The US Food and Drug Administration is about to take certain high-stake decisions with regard to vaccination. In the meantime, two of its senior officials are about to retire. The agency has to decide on final approval for COVID 19 vaccines, booster shots, and shots for children.
FDA announced the retirement through an internal email. It also shared the same with a reputed news channel.
FDA did not specify the reason for the retirement. But there are reports of the same affecting the reliability of the agency. FDA, in the meantime, said that it has great faith in the expertise of its staff in evaluating vaccines.
Two Senior FDA Officials Retire As The Agency Decides To Take Up The Call For Booster Shots
White House too did not give a direct answer to the question of whether the departures will affect the agency in any manner. It only said that they are grateful for the great work FDA is doing for the country.
Dr. Marion Gruber, director of the Office of Vaccines Research and Review at FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, and Dr. Philip Krause, deputy director of the office were the officials who decided to retire. President Biden has not yet announced a replacement for the top post. At present, its acting commissioner is the person leading the agency.
According to her, FDA is facing a difficult time. He also expressed full faith and support to the entire team. She is confident that the agency will be able to fulfill its commitment to provide effective and safe vaccines to the country. She did not forget to reiterate her gratitude to her team.
The issues they are facing are quite complicated. And the days’ work is quite long. But she wants them to know that the work they have done, are doing, and will be doing in the days ahead will help them curb the COVID 19 pandemic one day.
They have a plan before their eyes. And they will be able to deliver accordingly. They will also be able to give science the priority it deserves while meeting the timeline that is required to work towards the end of the pandemic.
There will be more work in the days ahead. FDA has to approve additional vaccines. It also has to authorize vaccines for children below 12 years of age.
Authorities have also announced their plan to offer booster shots to those who receive the two-dose MRNA shots. People can start receiving booster doses from September 20. They will be administered to people after eight months of receiving the second dose of any of the authorized mRNA vaccines. The proposal, however, requires approval from both CDC and FDA.
If reports are to be believed, there is mounting frustration within the agency with regard to vaccines. Officials in the FDA have now begun feeling that the CDC and White House are crossing their lines in the matters of vaccination.
The more trouble seems to be with the White House determining goals for booster shots. When doing so, the White House appears to place itself before science. And it seems to decide what FDA should announce. The report also hoped that the FDA will make the right call at the end.
The news of the decision of its top officials, however, took the agency by surprise. Some said that it was a great loss. Others were quick to point out that it will affect the morale of the team as a whole. For others, this happened because of the hefty workload due to the pandemic.
White House always reiterates that it will abide by FDA’s recommendations. But it seems to pre-determine the final call.
Certain experts support the Biden administration in its decision to go for a booster dose. According to them, the virus has proven to be unpredictable. And the agency always has to be one step ahead in its preparations.
With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.