An American environmental organization has sounded the alarm about the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. Experts warn that its production could kill 500,000 sharks, with potentially irreversible damage to ocean ecosystems.
What is the reason? Squalene, an oil extracted from shark liver, is used as an ingredient in these vaccines, as it is an adjuvant that increases their effectiveness by creating a stronger immune response, notes the Truth.
There are over 175 COVID-19 vaccines under development. Almost all government strategies for treating the coronavirus pandemic are based on the idea that one of these vaccine candidates will ultimately provide widespread protection against the virus and allow us all to return to our normal lives.
Among these vaccines is the vaccine produced by the British pharmaceutical company, in collaboration with Oxford University, called GlaxoSmithKline. It is already using shark liver oil for flu vaccines and plans to stock up on a billion doses of adjuvant ready for a mass-produced COVID-19 vaccine, according to the same source.
With these in mind, Shark Allies, an environmental organization in California, has filed a petition against the use of the compound in COVID-19 vaccines. She advocates for finding sustainable alternatives from other sources. More than 3,000 sharks are needed to obtain a ton of squalene, while a vaccine that would be mass-produced and distributed around the world so that people would receive two doses would mean killing 500,000 sharks. Which is devastating for the marine ecosystem, says the association.
“Collecting a sample from a wild animal will never be sustainable, especially when it comes to a top predator that does not reproduce en masse,” Stefanie Brendl, founder of The Telegraph, was quoted as saying by Adevărul. “There are so many unknowns about the extent and duration of the pandemic, but also the versions that could affect us in the future, that if we continue to rely on sharks, the number of those we will have to exploit can increase dramatically. , year after year “, she adds.