Bandung, West Java, 21 Dhul Hijja 1433/6 November 2012 (MINA) –  Indonesia’s vaccine-maker Bio Farma has so far exported vaccines to 117 countries, including Islamic countries, as the company’s products are prequalified already by the World Health Organization (WHO).

   “So far not a single Islamic country that forbids Bio Farma vaccines used for immunization. In addition we have never received a report of hazards from the immunization in those countries,” Bio Farma’s Corporate Secretary Rahman Roestan told media here on Tuesday.

   Rustan said that the Islamic and developing countries realize that vaccines and medicines are not optional for use during emergencies only. Vaccines are indeed required for the prevention of communicable diseases.

   He added internally Bio Farma has supported the achievement of national immunization coverage by means of education and socialization on the importance of immunization in many provinces in Indonesia, such as Yogyakarta, South Sulawesi, Aceh and Papua.

   According to him, up to 70 percent of the basic materials of the vaccines produced by Bio Farma are procured domestically.

   Bio Farma has also taken the initiative for the national vaccine research forum and set up nine consortia for vaccine research on new TB, dengue and malaria. This initiative has been aimed at accelerating sinergies and researches on vaccines so that the the people may take their benefits.        

    Rahman also explained, representatives of Iran’s vaccine manufacturer attending the 13th Annual Meeting of the Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers Network  (DCVMN) in Bali last week had asked Bio Farma for help as the country’s vaccine industry still has many limitations.          

    “We have many limitations so that need assistances from Bio Farma. We can compliment on each other’s shortcomings,” said Dr. Mohammad Azizi, Deputy Director of Pasteur Institute of Iran (PII), told the press on the sidelines of the meeting last week in Bali.

   According to Azizi, the people of Iran and other Islamic countries are very familiar with the various types of vaccines manufactured by Bio Farma, such as DPT, polio, and measles.

    He considered Indonesia being the largest Muslim country in the world is very important for Iran, including for the purpose of sharing experiences on vaccine production, both in quantity and quality.

    “Vaccine industry runs a noble job. In Islam a person should not hurt others. By refusing the vaccine, it means the same as inflicting injuries on oneself.  In fact, in the Al-Quran it is mentioned saving one life is tantamount to saving the entire human race, ” he said.

    PII has also produced the same vaccines as those manufactured by Bio Farma, such as DPT, polio, and measles. But vaccines produced in Iran has not passed the WHO prequalification, Azizi said. (PR-002)

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