Squalene and coronavirus vaccine: will COVID-19 endanger lives of half a million sharks?

Squalene is a term that alone would be enough to suggest a hoax. But it is not so. It is a substance already much used by pharmaceutical companies, and for their announcement that they want to use it in the marketing of the vaccine.

This announcement arrives by the Californian association Shark Allies. Squalene is a substance widely used, nowadays, in some candidates for the COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccine and squalene: are sharks really in danger?

The British company GlaxoSmithKline has been using it for years as an adjuvant in medicine, and specifically in flu vaccines.

The name squalene correctly refers to the sharks: it is in fact a natural oil produced in the liver of sharks, used as an ingredient of vaccines because traditional medicine has shown its effectiveness in increasing the immune response.

Hence the use by GlaxoSmithKline and other well-known pharmaceutical brands in the seasonal flu vaccine. The alarm was triggered when the British company announced that it will produce half a billion doses of this adjuvant for potential use in coronavirus vaccines in May 2021.

Shark Allies calculated that if the world’s population received a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine containing shark liver oil, about 250,000 specimens would have to be slaughtered. Since two doses are needed to immunize, the numbers would fatally double.

COVID-19 vaccine and squalene: what are the considerations that we must think about?

Taking into consideration the relation between squalene and COVID-19 vaccine as how it has been launched, the alarm could perhaps be correct. However, it is useful to take care of some aspects:

  • Researchers have long been focused on finding a replacement for squalene, now based on fermented sugar cane;
  • The accounts of Shark Allies start from the hypothesis that the whole world will be able to get rid of COVID-19 with only one brand of vaccines, which is not objectively possible;
  • Despite the name, which is very specific because it was first detected in sharks, squalene is present in many other animal species;

Here then the alarm is certainly justified (the squalene is already used since years and a new use has been announced), however, it has been a little bit too alarming.

Squalene end COVID-19 vaccine: READ THE ITALIAN ARTICLE

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