Australia's regulatory authority has approved a name change for the COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca, which will now be known as Vaxzevria.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) today approved the name change in an effort to bring the naming conventions of the vaccine in line with the European Union and Canada.
A change of name is the only change made to the vaccine.
All other aspects – including ingredients, dosage, quality control and application – remain unchanged.
The Department of Health said the name change is expected to "alleviate confusion" and to clarify that the virus made by CSL and Seqirus in Melbourne is the same one that is produced internationally.
Looking forward, the name change will help facilitate international recognition for Australians who received the AstraZeneca vaccine.
"At this stage, it is estimated that supply in Australia of the VAXZEVRIA-branded product will commence in late 2021," the TGA said in a statement.
"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."
In a statement, a spokesperson for AstraZeneca said the change of name will make the vaccine produced locally here in Australia valid for travel to Europe.
"Use of the Vaxzevria brand name should help simplify international travel for people vaccinated with AstraZeneca's vaccine. The vaccine has previously received emergency authorisation from the World Health Organisation," the spokesperson said.
"As such Vaxzevria, including Vaxzevria produced at CSL in Australia, is a valid vaccination for travel to Europe."
The spokesperson also reassured residents that no change was being made to the actual vaccine.
"AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine is the same product wherever it is made," the spokesperson said.
"All manufacturing around the world is conducted using the same stringent manufacturing process and each batch passes over 60 quality tests as part of our global robust quality assurance process."