Amid the rise in counterfeiting and other illegal activities related to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Council of Europe is issuing new recommendations to governments based on its Convention on the counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes involving threats to public health (MEDICRIME Convention). As regulators around the world approve more vaccines for sale, reports of seizures of counterfeit vaccines continue to rise.
In a new advice the MEDICRIME Committee sets out 13 measures to prevent and combat the presence of counterfeit vaccines on the market, including vaccines that misrepresent their identity and/or source, as well as the diversion of legally produced vaccines from the legal supply chain. The Committee proposes preventive measures in co-operation with the relevant sectors to strengthen the supply chain, ensure the authenticity of vaccines, and improve arrangements for the disposal of Covid-19 vaccine waste. The Committee also emphasises the importance of training relevant government officials (customs officers, police and judges) and raising public awareness.