5 lakh sharks may be killed for COVID-19 vaccine, says conservationists

DY365
DY365
Published: October 1,2020 04:40 PM
DY365

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October1, 2020: About five lakh sharks could be killed for their natural oil to be used in production of COVID-19 vaccines, conservationists have warned.

October1, 2020: About five lakh sharks could be killed for their natural oil to be used in production of COVID-19 vaccines, conservationists have warned.



Shark Allies, a California-based conservation group, suggests that squalene - a natural compound originally obtained from shark liver oil - is used in some adjuvants that enhance the body's immune response to an antigen.





Adjuvants, or immune response-boosting substances, are a common component of vaccines as they increase its efficacy. Many vaccines, including those against other coronaviruses such as H1N1, SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and influenza, have seen usage of squalene.



As per report, about 2,500-3,000 sharks would be required to extract one tonne of squalene. The conservation group estimates that 2.5 lakh sharks would be required - depending on the amount of squalene used - if the entire global population is to be vaccinated. If every person is to receive two doses of the vaccine, the number would double to five lakh.