Controversial minister wants to review vaccinations
Zakki Hakim , The Associated Press , Jakarta | Wed, 03/25/2009 2:46 PM | National
Indonesia’s controversial health minister says she wants to end vaccinating children against meningitis, mumps and some other diseases because she fears foreign drug companies are using the country as a testing ground.
Health Minister Siti Fadillah Supari – who first drew widespread attention by boycotting the World Health Organization’s 50-year-old virus sharing system in 2007 – said Tuesday she wanted “scientific proof” that shots for illnesses like pneumonia, chicken pox, the flu, rubella and typhoid were “beneficial”.
“If not, they have to be stopped,” she said, declining to say exactly what that would mean. “We don’t want our country to be a testing place for drugs, as has been the case in Africa.”
Supari said she still would advocate immunizations against measles, polio, tetanus, hepatitis B and tuberculosis.