Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has been nominated by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) as a member on its board, according to an official statement on Tuesday. The GAVI Board is responsible for strategic direction and policy-making, oversees the operations of the Vaccine Alliance and monitors programme implementation.
Vardhan will be representing the South East Area Regional Office (SEARO)/Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO) constituency on the GAVI Board. The seat is currently held by Myint Htwe of Myanmar, the Union Health Ministry said in its statement. The Union health minister will be representing India at the board from January 1, 2021, until December 31, 2023, it said.
The board normally meets twice a year in June and November-December and holds an annual retreat, generally in March or April. All these meetings are normally attended in-person. With membership drawn from a range of partner organisations as well as experts from the private sector, the board provides a forum for balanced strategic decision-making, innovation and partner collaboration, the statement said.
GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance as part of its mission to save lives, reduce poverty and protect the world against the threat of epidemics, has helped vaccinate more than 822 million children in the world's poorest countries, preventing more than 14 million future deaths. Dr NgoziOkonjo-lweala presently serves as Chair of the GAVI Alliance Board.