News - Baxter to Help Indonesia Develop Human Vaccine for Avian Flu
Nov. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Baxter International Inc., the world's biggest maker of blood-disease products, will help Indonesia develop a vaccine for the H5N1 avian influenza virus, the nation's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said.
The government has asked PT Bio Farma to cooperate with Baxter to develop the vaccine, Yudhoyono told reporters in Jakarta today. The move is part of the government's plan to prevent an outbreak of avian influenza among humans.
If Indonesia is to develop a bird flu vaccine for humans it is best to produce it from the H5N1 virus found in infected people here,'' said Hariadi Wibisono, director of vector-borne disease control at Indonesia's Ministry of Health. ``That's because the sub type of the virus may be different here.''
Avian influenza, for which there is no vaccine yet, has killed at least seven people in the Southeast Asian nation, which has 200 million chickens in village backyards. The H5N1 bird-flu virus has infected at least 132 people in Asia since December 2003 and killed 68 of them.