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Indonesia wants to use its bird flu vaccine directly 2007-06-20 19:39:40
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Special report: Global fight against bird flu

    JAKARTA, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia insisted to be able to use directly avian influenza vaccines that it produced along with a U.S. drug maker Baxter, rather than using them when pandemic occur, should the result of clinical test of the vaccines was good, Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari said here Wednesday.

    Minister Supari said that Indonesia together with U.S. drug manufacturer Baxter Healthcare Corp already made fabricated two million tablets and completed clinical test of the products. Currently the authorities were waiting for the report of the test, she said.

    After the production, the World Health Organization (WHO) wanted the vaccines were stockpiled and used only when a pandemic occur, but Indonesia wanted to applied the vaccines should a serious cases take places, such as a bird flu cluster, said Fadilah.

    "We want to be able to use the vaccine in a certain condition¡­when a case occurred like in Karo, but the WHO has not been allowed yet. The WHO wants (the vaccine) to be stockpiled," she said.

    Six out of seven infected people linked by blood were killed by H5N1 virus in Karo of North Sumatra province last year. The biggest bird flu cluster had drawn international concern of human to human cases.

    "We are afraid if we could not use the vaccine should the cluster happen like in Karo, where we did not know whether it was human-to-human or animal-to-human transmission when they died one by one," she said.

    However, the minister said that she expected there would be a solution of the dispute on the meeting of the WHO and her ministry next month.

    Indonesia, which has been hit, the hardest, by bird flu with 80 fatalities and 100 cases, has been on the front line of fighting the disease.

    Experts fears that millions of people could be killed if the highly pathogenic H5N1 mutated to a certain level that can make it transmittable among humans.

Editor: Bi Mingxin
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