Environmentalists are trying to save sharks. Their liver is used to create a vaccine against COVID-19

Support for the online shark rescue movement is gaining a new wave of support online. The fact is, sharks are a common source of an important vaccine ingredient known as squalene. And while the whole world is working on a new vaccine for COVID-19, shark populations are in danger, according to Orlando Sentinel.

Earlier in September, Los Angeles-based shark conservation group Shark Allies posted a Facebook post and petition on Change.org describing the situation with shark populations as countries around the world seek a vaccine. against COVID-19.

Sharks are a common source of squalene, an important vaccine ingredient, according to usa.gov. It is added to the composition to enhance the immune response. Squalene can be found in many sources, including plants, but it is preferred to be obtained from shark liver. The reason is the economic efficiency of such mining.

As a result, the Shark Allies group is concerned that the race for the vaccine could lead to an unregulated harvest of excessive numbers of sharks, which could endanger the entire species.

The World Health Organization has identified squalene as an ingredient in preclinical COVID-19 vaccines but does not indicate the source of the substance.

“This could be disastrous for sharks and humans as this resource is neither sustainable nor reliable for mass production of the COVID-19 vaccine,” Shark Allies said on Change.org. “Countries producing squalene from sharks may soon need ingredients for their own vaccines. The supply chain has never been tested on the scale required by the coronavirus vaccine. ”

The Shark Allies petition calls on regulators and manufacturers to include non-animal squalene in all trials of existing and future squalene products. The petition exceeded its target of 50,000 signatures,

“News of the sharks used in vaccines has spread around the world”, Shark Allies said in a Facebook post. “Using sustainable sources and protecting sharks should not deprive people of anything. We can do both. There are alternatives!”

Shark Allies’ Non-Animal Squalene Sourcing Campaign has pledged to write and publish a peer-reviewed article targeted at manufacturers and government agencies involved in the production of squalene and vaccines.