Squalene, an oil produced by the liver of sharks, is being used in the development of vaccines against Covid-19. Shark Alliens, an association that protects the species explains that if each person in the world receives a dose of the vaccine against the new coronavirus, which contains liver oil, it will be necessary to kill 250,000 sharks. If each person needs two doses, as some scientists say, then we would be talking about the death of half a million of those animals.
Currently the product is used in various vaccines, food supplements and cosmetic products. This is the case of the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, which, according to SkyNews, uses squalene in flu vaccines and in May said it would manufacture one billion doses of that product in vaccines against Covid-19.
Shark Allies director Stefanie Brendl told the SkyNews, that there are too many unknowns about how long this pandemic will last and the amount of vaccines that will be needed “and that if we continue to use sharks, the number of species caught for this product may be very high, year after year. a wild animal will never be sustainable, especially if it is a top predator that does not breed in large numbers “.
Scientists are now testing an alternative to squalene. This option goes through a synthetic version made using fermented sugar cane.