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Health officials renew Indo-US Vaccine Action Program

U.S. and Indian health officials have renewed the Indo-U.S. Vaccine Action Program (VAP), a 20-year-old bilateral collaboration supporting research on vaccines, immunology and related biomedical issues. The VAP aims to reduce the burden of vaccine-preventable diseases of public health significance in India, the United States and other parts of the world, and to promote vaccines as one of the most cost-effective health technologies.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., and Secretary of the Department of Biotechnology in India, Maharaj K. Bhan, M.D., signed the Joint Statement on May 3, 2007, renewing this historic program for another five-year period.

"The Indo-U.S. Vaccine Action Program continues to demonstrate that international cooperation focused on outstanding research and the development of critically important public health tools can save millions of lives," says Dr. Zerhouni. "The U.S. government remains steadfast in its commitment to this program and its scientific vision."

Dr. Bhan, a former VAP grantee who currently oversees the government department that implements the program, says that the VAP has been one of Indias most important and successful international scientific collaborations since the program began in 1987. "A total of 35 collaborative research projects have been funded over the last two decades, and many talented young scientists have been trained through relationships fostered by this program," he notes.

VAPs research priorities include acute respiratory illnesses, hepatitis, rotavirus diarrhea, cholera, leishmaniasis, typhoid, rabies, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.

Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and Roger Glass M.D., Ph.D., NIH associate director for international research and director, Fogarty International Center, also attended th
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Contact: Sitara Maruf
marufs@niaid.nih.gov
301-402-1663
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
8-May-2007


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