Indonesia mulls bird flu vaccination in human

UPDATED: 14:08, June 23, 2007

The Indonesian government said Friday bird flu vaccine for human will be ready in July and mass vaccination was likely when a cluster case occurs.

"Immunization is possible for cluster cases like Garut and Karo but the decision should be based on recommendation by experts, " Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari told reporters here.

She was referring to the bird flu outbreak in Karo, North Sumatra in which six people from an extended family died of bird flu in May 2006, and another cluster case in Garut, West Java, that affected 18 people of the same neighborhood and killed three of them in August 2006.

"In such cases as Garut and Karo, people around the victims must get the vaccine, people within the radius of at least one km," she said.

The Indonesian government is currently developing bird flu vaccine for human in collaboration with U.S. firm Baxter International Inc.

"The clinical tests (of the vaccine) reportedly have been completed," she said.

Indonesia is the worst hit by bird flu, which has killed 80 people out of 100 cases since 2005.

Source: Xinhua

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