Squalene – MF59

  • 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.