Half a million sharks may be killed for scientists to get the COVID-19 vaccine to every person. However, with the rise of COVID-19 cases, deaths and reinfections, the vaccine too seems necessary.
Sky News reported that British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline uses squalene in flu vaccine. Squalene in COVID-19 vaccines enhances the immunity response. About 3000 sharks give 1 tonne of squalene.
Shark Allies, a California-based group, suggests that around 250,000 sharks will be needed for one dose of COVID-19 vaccine to the world’s population. Then, for 2 doses of the vaccine, around half a million of sharks would be killed.
Therefore, scientists are currently trying to create synthetic squalene from fermented sugarcane. If scientists can use this in COVID-19 vaccines, it would avoid the death of an enormous number of sharks.
According to conservationists, around 3 million sharks are killed every year to extract squalene for medicines and cosmetics.
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