Coronavirus vaccine by killing 500,000 sharks?
Animal rights activists are alarmed: Around half a million sharks could be killed in search of a vaccine against the Coronavirus.
A Pharmaceutical company plans to produce about a billion doses of an adjuvant (compound to enhance the immune response) for Coronavirus drugs by 2021. The problem is that squalene, which is extracted from shark liver, is often used to develop this substance.
As such, hundreds of thousands of sharks could be killed to develop a vaccine against Coronavirus. The animals are namely suppliers of squalene, which is used to improve the effectiveness of vaccinations..
Squalene, is a natural oil, found in the liver of the shark. It has been estimated that it will take about 250,000 sharks to immunize all the people in the world with one dose of the squalene Covid-19 vaccine. That number will become double and escalate to half a million, as immunization more often than not, takes place in two stages.
A number of shark species that are rich in squalene, such as the giant shark and the brown short-thorn shark, have been classified as susceptible. This means that they could get extinct, if human beings continued killing them for their own purpose.
The truth is that sharks, although the main source of squalene, are not the only source in the world. But, the harsh reality is that it is easier and cheaper to obtain squalene from the liver of sharks, than to get it from other sources. Experts state that, year after year, around 3 million sharks are killed, to obtain squalene, which is used not just for medicinal purposes, but also in machine oil, moisturizing cosmetics, anti-aging substances and many others.
Little is known about the extent of the Coronavirus pandemic and how long it will last. The number of sharks dying for vaccinations could remain very high year after year.