By now you’ve probably heard that the AstraZeneca vaccine has a new name — Vaxzevria — but do you know how to pronounce it?
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announced on Thursday that AstraZeneca would be rebranded in Australia to Vaxzevria to make it easier for people who’ve received the vaccine to travel overseas once international borders open again. The vaccine already goes by the Vaxzevria name in Canada and Europe and there were concerns that the AstraZeneca name would cause confusion if vaccine passports were to come into effect for Australians looking to travel overseas.
While the new name looks simple enough, its pronunciation has caused some confusion. Some media personalities and politicians have pronounced it as vax-ZEV-ria, while others have said vax-ZEEV-ria.
Now, a spokesperson from AstraZeneca has confirmed the correct way to say the new name is vax-ZEV-ria. The spokesperson said that while the name change will be reflected on official documentation, such as passports, they fully expect people to continue to use the AstraZeneca name colloquially. Similarly, Pfizer’s name was changed to Comirnaty at the end of 2020, but is rarely referred to as such.
In its announcement on Thursday, the TGA said that the name change was “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,” the TGA said.
It also clarified that the new name is the only change to the vaccine, saying: “All other aspects, such as manufacturing and quality control, are unchanged and align with the way the vaccine is produced in other jurisdictions.”
They continued: “At this stage, it is estimated that supply in Australia of the VAXZEVRIA-branded product will 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.”