The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) is implementing a focused bilateral collaborative programme known as the Indo-US Vaccine Action Programme (VAP), jointly with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA, since July 1987. The current five-year VAP Joint Statement has been extended till 2027, noting the Science and Technology Agreement between United States of America and the Republic of India, with due approval from the Hon’ble Minister of Science & Technology and the Ministry of External Affairs.
Dr. Rajesh S. Gokhale, the Secretary, DBT along with the Indian delegation comprising of senior officials from DBT is visiting the USA for the 34th Meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) of VAP and other scientific consultations. The JWG provides oversight to VAP and comprises of Experts and the policy makers from India and US, co-Chaired by the Secretary, DBT from the Indian side.
The meeting is being convened on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland, on 11th and 12th October, 2022. During the meeting, the Joint statement of Indo-US VAP has been signed by Dr. Rajesh S. Gokhale and Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director, NIAID in the presence of the Honorable Indian Ambassador to the United States, considering the five year extension accorded to the programme till 2027.
As per practice, a ‘Rama-Robbins Lecture’ was organized in the remembrance of Late Prof. V. Ramalingaswami, former National Professor and Late Prof. Fred Robbins, former Chairman of VAP JWG from US side. The lecture is an engaging talk on a subject of scientific relevance to both the countries delivered by an eminent personality in the field of Health Sciences. This year, the ‘Rama-Robbins Lecture’ was delivered by Dr. Fauci on ‘Pandemic preparedness and lessons from COVID-19. A talk was also delivered by Secretary, DBT.