Indonesia, Power Asymmetry, and Pandemic Risk

The paradox of global health security

Authored by: William L. Aldis , Triono Soendoro

Routledge Handbook of Global Health Security

Print publication date:  August  2014
Online publication date:  August  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415645478
eBook ISBN: 9780203078563
Adobe ISBN: 9781136155574


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In late 2006 the world was on the brink of a catastrophic pandemic due to the avian influenza (“bird flu”) virus H5N1. It was essential to conduct genetic studies of new viral strains isolated from human cases and to get a head start on vaccine development for those strains that appeared to have the highest pandemic potential. At this critical moment there was a breakdown in the global system for sharing of virus isolates.1 Indonesia, without access to vaccines and antiviral medications and acting in desperation, suspended sharing of viral isolates with the World Health Organization (WHO) and its Collaborating Centers. International reaction was harsh and immediate.

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