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Indo-U.S. Vaccine Action Program


Collaboration in science and technology has been an enduring feature of the U.S.-India relationship for over three decades. Cooperation in the health sciences has been particularly prominent. Special initiatives have been undertaken over the years in an effort to advance cooperation more rapidly and effectively in some areas. One of the most important and successful of these has been the Indo-U.S. Vaccine Action Program (VAP).

VAP had its origin in 1984 when Dr. Fred Robbins, a U.S. Nobel Laureate in Medicine, visited India and prompted discussion of the possibility of taking advantage of the advances in research technology to address needs for new and better vaccines for diseases of importance to India. This helped to unleash a series of actions that ultimately led to the signing of a Government-to-Government Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish VAP in July 1987. Since then, this agreement has been renewed every five years. NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., and then Secretary of the Department of Biotechnology in India, Maharaj K. Bhan, M.D., most recently renewed the VAP agreement on November 20, 2012.

The existence of the VAP program is an important recognition that vaccines are among the most cost-effective of health technologies and their widespread use is key to controlling the burden of vaccine-preventable diseases worldwide. With the emergence and re-emergence of infectious diseases and increasing attention to health programs which promote child survival, there is renewed interest in attacking this important category of diseases across the full spectrum of scientific, medical and public health disciplines.

Last Updated September 23, 2015