Coronavirus vaccine may see half a million KILLED for key component

Grant Boone
September 30, 2020

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".

In a Facebook post, she added: 'We are not trying to slow down or hinder the production of a vaccine. Approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would make 54 percent more likely to trust a vaccine, while approval from President Donald Trump would only help 19 percent of respondents. "Most shark species are already at critical levels and will not withstand an increase in demand for a global vaccine".

In the Change.or petition, which has attracted nearly 9,500 signatures of its 10,000 target, the group says there are "better alternatives" to using squalene in vaccines.

What is squalene and why is it used in medicine?


British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline uses shark squalene in its adjuvant, which is now used in flu vaccines.

The name comes from "Squalas" - a genus of a dogfish shark.

A British pharmaceutical company called GlaxoSmithKline now manufactures a flu vaccine, which includes shark squalene, which is a natural oil produced in the liver.

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A report by The New York Times reveals that Chinese officials are inoculating tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people with unproven COVID-19 vaccines outside the traditional testing process.

Johnson & Johnson are launching a large-scale trial of their coronavirus vaccine which, unlike other USA candidates, only requires a single dose.

In their most recent statement, the company claims it can produce squalene for one billion vaccines in one month or less. So why would a vaccine company choose shark-squalene over, say, plant-based squalene?

However, its Chief Executive, John Melo, said he is in discussions with regulators in the United States to allow it to be used as an alternative adjuvant in vaccines now formulated to use shark-based squalene. "This trial is created to further confirm the selection of the dose of our vaccine candidate and to confirm that we can provide a safe and tolerable vaccine, also to older adults, who are at a higher risk of experiencing serious impacts from COVID-19".

Numerous species targeted for being rich in squalene, such as the gulper shark and the basking shark, are classed as vulnerable, meaning that their populations are decreasing and they could become endangered if the circumstances threatening them continue.

However Shark Allies, a California-based advocacy group, has launched a petition against the use of squalene from sharks for making coronavirus vaccine, calling on the industry to further explore the use of sustainable, non-animal squalene alternatives.

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