News 299 views update:May 12, 2010

UPDATE: Indonesia resumes sharing H5N1 virus samples

Indonesia's Minister of Health, Siti Fadilah Supari, announced at a joint news conference that the country would resume sharing of H5N1 avian influenza virus samples “immediately."

Supari had focused global attention on the fact that developing countries have supplied H5N1 virus to WHO Collaborating Centres for analysis and preparation for vaccine production, but that the resulting vaccines produced by commercial companies were likely to be unavailable to developing countries such as Indonesia. She called the system “unfair” and withheld virus samples from WHO.
It was determined at the meeting that if countries want to negotiate for vaccines with companies, it was perfectly within their domain. Industrialized countries negotiate regularly for vaccines and developing countries can certainly do the same. Supari indicated that Indonesia will share viruses with WHO, which will develop vaccine seed viruses and will share the virus with manufacturers after consultation with the Health Minister.
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