More than 5 lakh sharks to be killed to prepare COVID-19 vaccine

According to Conservationists at least 5 lakh sharks are likely to be slaughtered in order to develop enough doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

To develop the vaccine, stark squalene is being considered. Squalene is a natural organic compound that is found in shark liver oil.

Most of the commercial vaccines use squalene, a component of some adjuvants, that are added to vaccines to enhance the immune response.

According to Shark Allies, if the world’s population is to receive one dose each of the vaccines, around 250,000 sharks would have to be slaughtered which may lead to their endangerment. Experts suggest that between 2,500 to 3,000 sharks are required to extract one tonne of squalene. 

If two doses are needed for every person in the world, then half a million sharks will have to be slaughtered, said a report in euronews.

The advocacy group has expressed concern that the killing of lakhs of sharks will do irreversible damage to the oceanic ecosystem. 

According to reports, more than 30 lakh sharks are killed every year for squalene that is further used in cosmetics, vaccines, machine oil, and other products.