Half Million Sharks Could be Killed for the Coronavirus Vaccine

Henrietta Strickland
October 1, 2020

The scientific head of the USA government program created to speed the development of COVID-19 vaccines Dr. Moncef Slaoui asserted that he wanted stricter rules to grant emergency use of new inoculations against the novel coronavirus.

The arrangement again provides an option to secure additional doses if the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator sees a need for it.

In order to make two doses of a vaccine, which is what researchers suggest is needed to vaccinate the global population, half a million sharks would have to be slaughtered.

In a Facebook post, she added: 'We are not trying to slow down or hinder the production of a vaccine.

That would potentially endanger vulnerable shark populations, the group said, urging further research into manufacturing squalene from plants such as fermented sugarcane.

The CEO of Moderna Therapeutics, one of the companies developing a coronavirus vaccine, dealt a blow to U.S. President Donald Trump's hopes of having a vaccine ready before the presidential election, saying his company would not be able to apply for authorization until at least late November.

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.

Squalene is a coveted ingredient in cosmetics and machine oil.

The British pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline, which already uses shark squalene in flu vaccines, has said it would manufacture a billion doses of the adjuvant for potential use in vaccines to fight Covid-19.

What is squalene and why is it used in medicine?

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SII now has agreements to manufacture Covid-19 vaccines developed by American vaccine maker Novavax, as well as Oxford University in collaboration with Swedish-British drugmaker AstraZeneca.

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

The liver oil is also used in cosmetic products and machine lubrication. They have said that the possibility for a safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19 before 2020-end is low, and even if there is a successful candidate, it will not end the pandemic.

Shark Allies have also touted Amyris, a Silicon Valley company, for using a sugarcane derivative squalene.

One developed a grade three fever, which is classified as 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit (39°C) or above, after receiving the lower vaccine dose.

"This is similar to what a lot of older adults are going to experience with the high dose influenza vaccine", Anderson said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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