We are all fighting against the one common fear right now - Covid 19 and hoping everyday for an effective vaccine to develop. However, conservationists have warned that at least 5 lakh sharks are likely to be slaughtered in order to develop enough doses of an effective vaccine and immunise humankind against COVID-19.
Most vaccines require an adjuvant, which is a pharmacological or immunological agent that improves the immune response of a vaccine. Sadly, this ingredient is found in the livers of sharks. The adjuvant ingredient also helps lower the amount of vaccine needed for each patient, which could help in mass immunization, but cause more shark deaths.
All vaccines use different adjuvants, the most common one for influenza strains is derived from squalene oil, which is a natural substance found in the livers of sharks, humans, and many other animals. Even though many animals carry this oil, sharks are the most common commercial source for the substance.
According to the organisation - Shark Allies, 21,000 sharks would be killed just to ensure vaccine production in the United States.
The substance - squalene, which is present in this adjuvant, can be produced using plants as well, and the organisation is urging companies to switch to that mode instead of murdering sharks.
Have we not learnt anything from this? Till when are we going to prospes on the expense of other organisms?
Outraged at the amount of animal cruelty, a petition with the title ‘Stop Using Sharks in COVID-19 Vaccine – Use EXISTING Sustainable Options’ has been filed on Change.org against using sharks for the vaccine. Over 44,000 people have filed the petition so far.
Click on the petition & sign it before it's too late!