The vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca are now entitled to their own names. Health Canada announced Thursday that the brand names for these vaccines have been approved at the request of drug companies. These names are already used for promotional purposes in the European Union and the United States.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is now called “Comirnaty,” an acronym that the company says combines the terms COVID-19, mRNA, community and immunity. The Moderna vaccine is now called “SpikeVax” and the AstraZeneca becomes “Vaxzevria”.
Pfizer and Moderna say the name change marks full approval of the vaccines by Health Canada. These products had previously been approved under an interim “emergency order”, which was due to expire on Thursday. Vaccines are now more normally authorized under the Food and Drug Regulations.
During the interim interim order, the vaccines did not carry their brand names, but now that new, longer-term data has been submitted and approved by Health Canada, they will be able to carry that name permanently. .
“Today’s decision by Health Canada, which is based on the longer-term follow-up data we have submitted, confirms the efficacy and safety of our vaccine at a time of urgent need,” Fabien Paquette, head of vaccines at Pfizer Canada, said in a press release.
Health Canada specifies that while the names are different, the products have not been changed. Although the name change has been approved, Canada will still receive vials labeled “Pfizer-BioNTech” in the coming months for labeling purposes.
The Food and Drug Administration in the United States had already approved new names earlier this summer and the vaccines have been branded in Europe since the spring.