It’s pronounced Vaxzevria, actually

2 minute read

AstraZeneca is rebranding it’s covid shot in Australia to give it a European glow.

AstraZeneca is rebranding its covid shot in Australia to give it a European glow.

The pandemic got off to a spectacularly bad start last year when someone decided to give the painfully drab name SARS-CoV-2 to the supervillain that would feature in 99% of all breaking news stories.

Battles broke out in newsrooms. Was it “sars-co-vee-two” or “sars-cov-two”? And was it too soon to drop the 19 and leave a naked, lowercase “covid”? 

Even the superheroes – the vaccines – had unwieldly names like Astra Zeneca/Oxford and Pfizer/BioNTech.

Thankfully, the Gods of Marketing have intervened, granting subs and radio hosts some small relief; the covid vaccines are being slowly de-uglified. 

AstraZeneca has announced that its covid vaccine in Australia will be renamed Vaxzevria to mirror the European branding. It’s currently pushing the name change through the TGA. 

Having two different names for the same product could cause some confusion, particularly for vaccinated Australians crossing international borders.

“This minor difference [in naming], which will soon disappear, may have created misperceptions that the vaccine is not the same,” Astra Zeneca said in a statement. 

The Moderna vaccine, which will be approved within a fortnight in Australia, is now going by the name Spikevax. 

While news outlets are reporting that the name originates from the spike proteins on the outside of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, The Back Page has it on good authority that the naming committee wanted to honour their favourite Buffy vampire – Spike. 

We’ve got the meme to prove it!

Vaxzevria may sound more like your old-school lady vampire from a 60s horror movie, but it’s much less terrible than the name of Pfizer’s covid vaccine.

“Comirnaty” is supposed to evoke the word “community” while also including the letters “mRNA” and refering to “covid immunity”. That idea obviously suffered death by committee.

At least they didn’t call it Vaxy McVaxFace. Send tips to

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