MF59 is the adjuvant contained in Fluad, an influenza vaccine licensed for adults aged 65 or older.
MF59 is an oil-in-water emulsion composed of squalene and is added to influenza vaccines to help stimulate the human body’s immune response through production of CD4 memory cells.
Squalene is a naturally-occurring substance derived primarily from shark liver oil, found in foods, cosmetics, over-the-counter medications, and supplements.
When combined with other ingredients squalene becomes an adjuvant, which, like aluminum, is added to vaccines to elicit a stronger immune response from the body.
The World Health Organization (WHO) describes squalene as “a component of some adjuvants that is added to vaccines to enhance the immune response.”
The WHO notes that most people who have received squalene-containing vaccines are in older age groups, and that we don’t really know how this component might impact younger people.
A 2000 study found that a single injection of squalene adjuvant produced arthritis in rats, and, although more research is needed, many believe squalene-containing anthrax vaccine to be the main culprit in triggering Gulf War Syndrome among American troops who served in the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990’s.