No, AstraZeneca Does Not Mean 'Weapon That Kills'

The name "AstraZeneca" was created from the names of the companies Astra AB and Zeneca Group after they merged.

Facebook posts shared hundreds of times claim AstraZeneca, the name of a British-Swedish drugmaker, means "weapon that kills" in a combination of three languages. The posts circulated online after millions of Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines were administered to people around the world. The claim is misleading: the name "AstraZeneca" was created from the names of two other companies. "Astra" derives from the Greek word "astron", meaning "star", while "Zeneca" refers to "Zeneca Group", a British company whose name was invented by a branding agency.

Also Read: Has Disneyland Banned Screaming On Rides To Combat COVID-19? Not Really

The Facebook post was published here on March 23, 2021. It has been shared more than 250 times.

The image features a screenshot from a Wikipedia page entitled "Astra (weapon)". It also shows a screenshot of a Google Translate window, suggesting that "Astra Ze Neca" means "weapon that kills" in a combination of Sanskrit, Polish and Latin.

"Wake up, fools!" reads the red text on the image.

A screenshot of the misleading Facebook post.

The Facebook post's caption reads: "The more you know..."

The post circulated online after leading EU countries, including France, said they would resume Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccinations after a brief suspension to assess the vaccine's safety.

On March 18, 2021, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said the jab is "safe and effective" and not associated with a higher blood clot risk after days of commotion around the shot. The WHO and Britain's health watchdog have also said the vaccine is safe. AFP reported on the developments here.

Also Read: Did A Study Find A Link Between COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines And Cancer?

The image was also shared in Facebook posts here, here, and here alongside a similar claim.

The claim is misleading.

Greek origins

Before the coronavirus pandemic, AstraZeneca explained the origins of its name in a series of tweets on October 17, 2019.

"Astra" derives from the Greek word "astron", meaning "star". "Zeneca" is the name of a former British pharmaceutical company and does not have another meaning in any language, according to AstraZeneca's tweet.

In 1999, Astra AB and Zeneca Group merged to form AstraZeneca in one of the largest ever European mergers, as noted in reports at the time by BBC and CNN.

The former chief executive of Zeneca, David Barnes, told British newspaper The Daily Telegraph in January 2001 that he instructed branding agency Interbrand to find a name.

Also Read: No, COVID-19 Vaccines Do Not Invalidate Life Insurance Policies

"There is an advantage in being alphabetically at the top or bottom of lists, A or Z," Barnes told The Daily Telegraph. "I asked Interbrand to find a name that was phonetically memorable, of no more than three syllables and didn't mean anything stupid, funny or rude in other languages. A new name also allowed us to instill a new company culture".

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by BOOM staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Updated On: 2021-03-30T14:24:43+05:30
Claim :   AstraZeneca means weapon that kills in a combination of three languages.
Claimed By :  Posts on Facebook
Fact Check :  False
If you value our work, we have an ask:

Our journalists work with TruthSeekers like you to publish fact-checks, explainers, ground reports and media literacy content. Much of this work involves using investigative methods and forensic tools. Our work is resource-intensive, and we rely on our readers to fund our work. Support us so we can continue our work of decluttering the information landscape.

📧 Subscribe to our newsletter here.

📣You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Linkedin and Google News
Show Full Article
Next Story
Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors.
Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker. Please reload after ad blocker is disabled.