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AstraZeneca vaccine renamed ‘Vaxzevria’

Credit: Belga

The coronavirus vaccine produced by the AstraZeneca pharmaceutical company is now called Vaxzevria, the Swedish medicine agency Läkemedelsverket announced based on data from the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The vaccine itself remains unchanged, but the Swedish agency considers the new name important, as it is accompanied by other things, such as new labelling and packaging.

The name change to Vaxzevria was approved by the EMA on 25 March, following an application from the company.

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The vaccine produced by the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company has been the topic of discussion several times since it received the green light from the EMA in late January.

Right after its approval, various countries in Europe – including Belgium – decided to not use it for the elderly, while waiting for more data.

Later, in early March, several European countries temporarily suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine because of some cases of blood clots and low platelet counts.

On 18 March, the EMA reconfirmed that the vaccine was safe and effective, and that the benefits outweigh the possible risks, but is still investigating the matter.

Additionally, the company has also been the subject of discussion as it repeatedly reduced its promised deliveries to the EU, resulting in escalating tensions between the EU and the UK.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times