The EDQM is committed to supporting competent authorities, manufacturers and developers of medicines, (including vaccines), and health professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic – and to contributing to the wider global effort to combat the virus – by openly sharing knowledge and offering free access to relevant standards and guidance.

Details of EDQM initiatives concerning COVID-19 vaccines and therapies can be found below.

Vaccine guidance, quality standards, OCABR guidelines and training

The EDQM has contributed to efforts to develop vaccines for COVID-19 from the outset, providing support in the form of guidance documents, quality standards and training materials, among others. 

Antiviral medicines: supportive pharmacopoeial texts available for free

Illegal and falsified medical products

The danger to public health inherent in the coronavirus pandemic has been amplified by the sale of unauthorised medicines claiming – without any proof – that they can prevent or treat COVID-19, and of falsified medicines and test kits. Criminals have been quick to take advantage of the increased demand for medical, personal-protection and hygiene products, including by advertising and selling their products online. Valid, up-to-date information on medicines and medical products from reliable sources is an important factor in public health protection under normal circumstances, but has become crucial for all during the pandemic.

Blood transfusion and organ, tissue and cell transplantation: minimising the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

In the field of substances of human origin (SoHO), the EDQM, through its European Committee on Blood Transfusion (CD-P-TS), European Committee on Organ Transplantation (CD-P-TO) and subordinate working groups, is facilitating the exchange of information and fostering co-operation between member states and health authorities to minimise the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The EDQM, in collaboration with the European Commission, held a virtual conference in October 2020, entitled “Keeping up with Reality and Quality: A Challenge for European Blood Establishments”, to mark 10 years of successful collaboration in the field of blood. One of the webinar sessions focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and featured key stakeholders from the sector discussing how they have managed the crisis in order to ensure the continuity of blood supply and elaborating on lessons learnt.

Webinar “The COVID-19 pandemic: Impact on the continuity of blood supply and lessons learnt

Two webinars, entitled “Tissue donation from deceased donors during the COVID-19 pandemic” (April 2020) and “Keep calm and use your QMS to carry on: Tissue banking in the new normality” (July 2020) were also organised. They featured leading experts in the field discussing how the pandemic has affected national programmes for tissue donation from deceased donors and daily practices in tissue establishments, and provided a forum to support forward-looking decisions.

More information on transplantation events training resources