Around 500,000 sharks will be killed to make Coronavirus vaccine, wildlife experts have claimed. Sharks are harvested for squalene – a natural oil made in the liver of sharks which is used as an adjuvant to increase the effectiveness of a vaccine. It is listed as an ingredient on a number of candidates for the Covid-19 vaccine, including in current flu jabs. Stefanie Brendl, the founder and executive director of Shark Allies has launched a petition against the use of squalene from sharks for making coronavirus vaccine.
The Pharma Cartel is planning to vaccinate the entire population of the planet and rake in profits of a 100 years. If one of those vaccines is used world-wide, conservationist group Shark Allies believe around 250,000 sharks will need to be slaughtered to provide one dose for each person.
However now they have started advocating that two doses may be needed to immunise the population, meaning around 500,000 sharks would need to be slaughtered, according to the California-based group’s calculations.
Stefanie Brendl, founder and executive director of Shark Allies, said:
“Harvesting something from a wild animal is never going to be sustainable, especially if it’s a top predator that doesn’t reproduce in huge numbers. There’s so many unknowns of how big and how long this pandemic might go on, and then how many versions of it we have to go through, that if we continue using sharks, the numbers of sharks taken for this product could be really high, year after year after year.”
This could spell potential disaster for sharks and humans since this resource is neither sustainable nor reliable for the mass production of a COVID-19 vaccine. Shark squalene production requires relying on a finite, wild animal population. Most shark species are already at critical levels and will not withstand an increase in demand for a global vaccine.
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Countries producing shark squalene may soon need the oil for their own vaccine. The supply chain has never been tested at the scale that a coronavirus vaccine would demand. There is also very little quality control and transparency in the shark squalene industry. In a nutshell, exploiting sharks for a key vaccine ingredient that can be derived from more sustainable and reliable non-animal alternatives is a detrimental and destructive approach.
The majority of cheap shark squalene comes from countries that are poorly regulated in terms of fisheries and fish oil production. This creates several problems:
- There is very little transparency of what animals end up in squalene production. Reports have uncovered that protected and endangered shark species end up in the shark oil trade, which is the basis for squalene and supplement production. There is no possible way to ensure that any squalene comes purely from legally harvested species.
- There is very little quality control.
- There is a dependency on supply from countries that may soon need the oil for their own vaccine and could potentially corner the market.
- If all squalene production would suddenly shift to domestic sources, it would only magnify the problem for sharks in US or EU waters.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) there are 40 candidate vaccines for Covid-19 in clinical evaluation and 142 vaccines in preclinical evaluation.
Shark Allies say that, of these vaccines, 17 use adjuvants, and five of those adjuvants are shark-squalene based.
Around 3,000 sharks are needed to extract one tonne of squalene.
The group has set up an online petition named ‘Stop Using Sharks in COVID-19 Vaccine – Use EXISTING Sustainable Options’.
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