The Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has changed the name of its COVID-19 vaccine.
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The vaccine previously known as COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca is now called Vaxzevria according to the European Medicine Agency's (EMA) website. The Sweden National Food Agency has noted that only the name of the medicine has changed, with no other alterations. However, the information about the vaccine, its labels and package may look different in the future.
There has been no official statement on the reasons behind the name change.
Previously, the administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine has been suspended in a number of countries in the EU and across the world. As of 25 March, the majority of them have resumed the use of the vaccine after EMA concluded on 18 March that “benefits still outweigh the risks” even if acknowledging the “possible link to rare blood clots with low blood platelets”.
A U.S. study published on 25 March and involving over 32,000 volunteers showed that the vaccine both safe and highly effective. It demonstrated 79% efficiency at stopping symptomatic COVID-19 and 100% efficiency at preventing serious cases. No safety issues regarding blood clots were reported.
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