As world continues to wait with bated breath for the end of the coronavirus situation, “Operation Warp Speed” has continued both in the United States and abroad, with drug makers rushing to make vaccines to help combat the disease.
While there has been much discussion about the many, potentially serious side effects that could come with the vaccine, what few people are focusing on is what they may actually be made out of, according to a recent report.
One of the most lesser known vaccine ingredients added to large numbers of the shots is squalene, an oil derived from the liver of sharks used as an “adjuvant,” or controversial substance designed to increase the effectiveness of a vaccine.
This particular ingredient is listed on numerous candidates for the upcoming COVID-19 vaccines according to a report from the Daily Mail, but there’s just one problem according to animal rights advocates: up to a half a million sharks could be killed for the purpose of making it.
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Report: Up to 500,000 Sharks Could Be Killed for Vaccine Ingredient
While news of animal organs being used as medicines in China oftentimes draws the ire of Internet commenters and armchair activists alike, very few people still realize the enormous animal related toll that this particular vaccine ingredient could take when it’s all said and done.
According to the aforementioned report, up to 500,000 sharks could be killed for the purposes of harvesting their squalene, the California based group Shark Allies warned.
The ingredient will be added to the vaccines in order to create a “stronger immune response,” the article said.
If one of those vaccines ends up being used worldwide, the group says around 250,000 sharks would be need to be slaughtered for one dose for each person.
Some vaccine makers believe that two doses may be needed, however, bringing the total up to 500,000 sharks that could potentially be killed for the ingredient alone.
“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,” said Stefanie Brendl, founder and executive director of Shark Allies.
The group would like to see non-animal derived squalene testing conducted as well in order to cut down on the number of potential shark deaths and to eventually find an alternative.
“We are not trying to slow down or hinder the production of a vaccine,” she wrote in a Facebook post.
“We simply ask that testing of non-animal derived squalene is conducted alongside shark squalene so it can be replaced as soon as possible.
“At billions of doses needed per year, for decades to come, it is critical that we don’t rely on a wild animal resource. It can be detrimental to shark species that are hunted for their oil, and it is not a reliable supply chain.”
An online petition named “Stop Using Sharks in COVID-19 Vaccine – Use EXISTING Sustainable Options” has been set up, on Change.org, and it has already smashed its initial target of 10,000 signatures.
The petition had about 15,000 signatures as of the writing of this article, and its new goal is 25,000. For more information or to sign the petition, click here, and feel free to share this with anyone who values the lives of these powerful and majestic wild animals.