Indonesia, the country hardest hit by bird flu, signed a preliminary deal Wednesday with U.S. drug manufacturer Baxter Healthcare Corp. to jointly produce a human bird flu vaccine.

Under the memorandum of understanding, Indonesia will provide strains of the H5N1 virus circulating in the nation and Baxter will offer technical expertise to produce the vaccine, said Indonesia's Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari.

The deal did not give a date when production would start.