The Indonesian government has awarded the country's biggest vaccine producer a tender to import the H5N2 vaccine for poultry, a media report said Saturday.
State-owned pharmaceutical firm PT Bio Farma received the tender from the Agriculture Ministry for its offer of 9.36 billion rupiah (1.01 million U.S. dollars), the lowest among the competing companies, reported The Jakarta Post newspaper.
Within two weeks from the receipt of the letter, imports can begin from a factory in China.
Almost all of Indonesia's 43 human deaths from bird flu have been traced to contact with infected poultry.
"We're ready to import the vaccine from our partner Qilu, a vaccine producer in China," Bio Farma president Marzuki Abdullah was quoted as saying.
H5N2 is one of the 15 known strains of the type A influenza virus found in birds. Although milder than H5N1 that has been transmitted to humans, it caused widespread, pathogenic infection in poultry in parts of the United States in the early 1980s and in Mexico from 1992-95.
Bio Farma's marketing director Sarimuddin Sulaeman said the company had 50 million doses of the H5N2 vaccine from China but based on the tender, the Agriculture Ministry needed 48 million more to conduct a mass vaccination of poultry stock.