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Two FDA Officials to Depart

Two US Food and Drug Administration officials who oversee vaccines are to leave in the coming weeks, the Washington Post reports.

Marion Gruber, director of the FDA's Office of Vaccines Research and Review, is to leave the agency by the end of October, while Philip Krause, deputy director there, plans to depart in November, it adds. According to the Post, Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research at FDA, is to serve as the acting head of the vaccine office while a search for a new permanent one is conducted.

The Post notes that these departures come as the agency faces pressure to authorize SARS-CoV-2 vaccines for use in children and to allow booster shots. Endpoints News reports that both Gruber and Krause were "frustrated" with the involvement of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in decisions they thought fell under the FDA's purview and "the White House getting ahead of FDA on booster shots."

An FDA spokesperson says the departures of Gruber and Krause won't slow the agency's work, the Post adds. "We are confident in the expertise and ability of our staff to continue our critical public health work, including evaluating COVID-19 vaccines," Stephanie Caccomo, the FDA spokesperson, says in a statement according to the Post.