Say Hello to Vaxzevria, the New Name for AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 Vaccine in Australia

Say Hello to Vaxzevria, the New Name for AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 Vaccine in Australia
(Photo: Leon Neal)

For months now the world’s perception of the available COVID-19 vaccines has been closely integrated with their names. The Pfizer vaccine means something completely different to the AstraZeneca vaccine, despite them doing the same job.

Now the AstraZeneca vaccine is no more after the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved a name change for the jab in Australia.

What is the AstraZeneca vaccine’s new name?

What was formerly known as the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has now been renamed Vaxzevria.

The change was made in order to make the name consistent with what is being used overseas in Europe and Canada.

What does this change mean?

The TGA explained in a press release that the name change is expected to help clear up some of the confusion around the Vaxzevria vaccine.

“This is expected to alleviate confusion and further clarify that the vaccine produced by CSL and Seqirus in Melbourne is the same as that produced internationally. This name change will also help facilitate international recognition for Australians who have been vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“Importantly, this is the only change to the vaccine. All other aspects, such as manufacturing and quality control, are unchanged and align with the way the vaccine is produced in other jurisdictions.”

As the TGA states, it’s important to note that the only change that’s occurred to the AstraZeneca vaccine is its name. It’s still the exact same vaccine that Australians have been getting jabbed with all year.

However, the name change won’t occur on vials of the vaccine right away.

The TGA said that supply of the Vaxzevria-branched vaccine should commence in late 2021 and once this happens the AstraZeneca-branded vaccine will no longer be supplied.

The name change will bring some additional benefits for international travel, whenever that opens up again.

As AstraZeneca explained on its website:

Use of the Vaxzevria brand name should help simplify international travel for people vaccinated with AstraZeneca’s vaccine. The vaccine has previously received emergency authorisation from the World Health Organisation. As such Vaxzevria, including Vaxzevria produced at CSL in Australia, is a valid vaccination for travel to Europe.

Each country dictates its own rules and regulations on entry requirements but most are already planning some form of vaccine passport that will mandate travellers provide proof of vaccination.

Anyone aged 18 and over can opt to receive the AstraZeneca/Vaxzevria vaccine in Australia right now. You can read more about eligibility and the official health advice here.