Wednesday, 20 May 2009

ASEAN Considers Regional Mass-Production of Anti-Swine Flu Vaccine

Senior officials of the ASEAN states declared that ASEAN was considering to develop and regionally mass-produce anti Swine Flu virus in times when nations took to preventive measures on pandemic infections which might arise in time to time.

This was disclosed by participants of the Senior Official Meeting preceding the meeting of ASEAN health ministers on Swine Flu in Bangkok Thailand on May 7 and 8 where they also declared the need to upgrade research capabilities in the ASEAN region.
“Vaccine was one of the main instrument for facing dangers of Pandemic, and there is a potential of vaccine capacity in the ASEAN + 3 region” this was disclosed by Boonywangvirot Bokong, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health in Thailand, in a statement to Business News by E-Mail [7/5].

He underlined that there was a great potential for collaboration in developing and producing Vaccine to overcome Pandemic for HSNI [avian influenza] or what was now known as Influenza A [H1N1].

This might also improve the collaboration mechanism, apart from the expansion aspect also to share the effort of medicine procurement to ensure that every one in the ASEAN + 3 region could have access to medication on time and efficiently.

Up till now, many ASEAN states also planned to increase their stock of medicines like antivirals in anticipating the possibility of Pandemic in this region.

They also recommended the need for better cooperation among ASEAN + 3 nations particularly in observation and exchange of information as well as capacity of diagnostic laboratory and control over diseases which might spread across countries including screening over tourists coming from infected regions.

Formerly, officials joined video conferences with the World Health Organization, the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Bank on update of influenza pandemic to update information on Influenza A [H1N1].

The officials also prepared a joint Communiqué of the Ministers on Influenza A [H1N1] which would be adopted by them on May 8, 2009.

The H1N1 Virus had spread to 24 states including Asia, i.e. South Korea, where one case was unveiled recently. The virus, which formerly were unable to live in tropical zones, had undergone adaptation process in the tropical zones, this was evident with the spread out of the disease to a number of tropical countries, like Costa Rica.

Swine Flu resulted from Virus Influenza sub-type A with H1N1 variant, mostly carried by animals especially pigs but may transmit to Humans.

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