Indonesia defends flu vaccine deal

Government says deal with US drug firm will ensure access to affordable vaccine.

    Indonesia says the deal with Baxter will ensure that
    it has access to an affordable vaccine [EPA]

    "We maintain that (the virus sharing mechanism) has been misused for commercial purposes"

    Dr Triono Soendoro, Indonesia's National Institute for Health Research and Development

    Officials said the deal with Baxter was designed to ensure the country's 220 million people received access to a vaccine in the event of a human pandemic.
     
    "We made the deal so we don't have to purchase the vaccines at market price," Dr Triono Soendoro, the head of Indonesia's National Institute for Health Research and Development told the Associated Press.
     
    Under the agreement with Baxter other organisations, including the WHO, would only have access to Indonesian flu samples provided they agree not to pass them on to commercial vaccine makers.
     
    "We maintain that (the virus sharing mechanism) has been misused for commercial purposes," said Soendoro.
     
    Some experts sympathised with Indonesia but warned that the deal could jeopardise world-wide access to a pandemic vaccine.
     
    Although the virus remains essentially an animal disease, experts fear it may mutate into a form which can jump species to humans and trigger a global pandemic.
     
    Many fear that Indonesia will become the epicentre of a global outbreak.
     
    Other countries including China, Thailand and Vietnam have previously stalled on the virus-sharing initiative for fear of rich countries stockpiling expensive vaccines and drugs and leave their populations vulnerable.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Thou Shalt Not Kill: Israel's Hilltop Youth

    Thou Shalt Not Kill: Israel's Hilltop Youth

    Meet the hardline group willing to do anything, including going against their government, to claim land for Israel.