TGA approves AstraZeneca’s request to change name

By Shannon Jenkins

Friday August 20, 2021

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has given approval for AstraZeneca's COVID vaccine to be renamed VAXZEVRIA in Australia.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration has given approval for AstraZeneca’s COVID vaccine to be renamed VAXZEVRIA in Australia. (AAP Image/Darren England)

The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will be renamed following approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), with the rebranded doses expected to be rolled out later this year.

The TGA gave the approval after AstraZeneca asked for its vaccine to be named VAXZEVRIA in Australia. The TGA noted that the new name was consistent with that used overseas, including in the European Union and Canada.

“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,” it said in a statement.

“This name change will also help facilitate international recognition for Australians who have been vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.”

The rollout of the re-branded VAXZEVRIA vaccine is expected to commence in late 2021.

“Once supply of the vaccine commences under the new name, the vaccine will no longer be supplied under the original name. Some stock with the original name may still be in use after the name change,” the TGA said.

The TGA has assured Australians that all other aspects of the vaccine, including manufacturing and quality control, would not be changed.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is currently available to all Australians aged 60 and over, and to consenting Australians aged 18 to 39.

Despite its wide availability, uptake of the AstraZeneca jab has been hindered by vaccine hesitancy among some Australians, spurred by a rare blood-clotting disorder that has been linked to the vaccine.

The TGA did not mention whether this vaccine hesitancy contributed to its decision to approve the name change.

The approval has come amid news that the Pfizer vaccine may be less effective over time than the AstraZeneca jab.

A new study from Oxford University has found that Pfizer is initially more effective against the Delta COVID-19 variant than AstraZeneca. However, over time, the efficacy of Pfizer declined more quickly than that of AstraZeneca, the research has shown.

Read more: What behavioural science can teach governments about vaccine hesitancy


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