The ocean's ecology has been upturned by the widespread killing of sharks for fins and treated as man-eaters even if humans have intruded in the domain. Now, drug companies want to harvest the most shark livers and kill 500,000 of them to make COVID-19 vaccines.
According to reports, many pharmas are intent on getting squalene, an ingredient that will be used to create doses for vaccines to cure COVID-19. The only catch is the sharks will be killed for their livers, argued conservationists, the Sun.
Vaccines in development need squalene oil that is produced by sharks and can only be extracted by removing their livers.
According to company GlaxoSmithKline which uses shark squalene in its adjuvant, this substance will create a stronger immune response in Flu vaccines according to the researchers, reported Sky News.
The firm said that many sharks culled for their livers. They can make a billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. They will start in May if all goes according to plan.
One group, the US-based campaign group Shark Allies, states that it will be an environmental debacle for both sharks and humans. With sharks in danger of extinction, this inhumane slaughter might seal their fate to extinction, as the oldest animals from the 65 million years ago.
To prevent this from ever happening, a petition was launched to stop the use of sharks in a COVID-19 vaccine. An option they are posing is plant-based alternatives that will be better than killing sharks for a vaccine.
Obtaining a ton of squalene will need livers of 3,000 dead sharks and more for the number of vaccines needed.
Groups concerned with the conservation of sharks estimate that one dose for everyone will need slaughtering 250,000 sharks. To get the amount of squalene, multiply it to 500,000 and more.
Shark allies said that squalene from shark liver is cheaper to obtain and not so hard to harvest. It falls to the cost of getting the resources in the most expedient way to have the most doses, Cited CTV News.
Pharmas getting the ingredient is not sustainable or reliable to make the COVID-19 vaccine. Even for mass production that can impact sharks and humans in uncertain outcomes.
Sharks are finite and can be driven to the brink of extinction if the plan to harvest squalene is carried out. Wholesale harvest of shark species for a vaccine and a species that is almost depleted by man's activities.
Sources say that squalene-adjuvanted vaccines are used for treating or preventing diseases. These include influenza strains of coronaviruses like SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV, as well as rabies.
One deadly outcome according to activists is racing to create a vaccine that will raise the price for shark squalene. More sharks will be culled for the livers and rampant harvests till they die out slowly.
Activists allege that pharmas will choose shark squalene because they spend less to sustain it. They want to make doses at lesser cost at more profit. Production of plant squalene will be very expensive at 30% more. All that is needed is to kill a shark and cut out the liver, dispose of the carcass.