Indonesia's president will ask Hungary for its newly developed bird flu vaccine, a minister confirmed Thursday.
Hungarian officials said last week that preliminary experiments with an H5N1 vaccine show it can protect humans and animals from bird flu - although the World Health Organization so far has not commented on the validity of the findings.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono wants the vaccine for Indonesia, Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda stated. The government also will continue to strengthen its stock of the coveted anti-flu drug Tamiflu.
Inthe meanwhile bird flu has killed more than 60 people in Southeast Asia since 2003, including three in Indonesia.
Most human cases have been linked to contact with sick birds. But health officials warn the virus could mutate into a form that can be easily passed between humans, possibly triggering a global pandemic that could kill millions.
Hungary has been approached by several other countries and pharmaceutical companies about the newly developed vaccine.
Hariadi Wibisono, an Indonesian Health Ministry official, said his government should test the vaccine to make sure it will be successful in Indonesia before stocking up.
If it's effective, he said, the government should try to find a way to produce the drug locally, the AP reports.
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