Pfizer-Biotech’s 'weird' branding of COVID vaccine becomes the butt of jokes, netizens slam naming

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Aug 25, 2021, 09:11 PM(IST)

BioNTech says it can update the version of its vaccine within 100 days. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Explaining the rationale behind the naming, Pfizer said they wanted to emphasize COVID-19 immunization and the vaccine's core mRNA technology. They also wanted to reflect “community” and “immunity” into the final product

Is it Koe-mir’-na-tee? Or Komir’-na-tee?

The name ‘Comirnaty’ given by Pfizer and BioNTech to its COVID-19 vaccine has sent Twitter into a frenzy mode, with netizens slamming the pharmaceutical firms for their “poor” choice of name.

On Monday. the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech Coronavirus vaccine for people 16 years and above.

As part of the approval process, the vaccine also got its brand name for use in the US.

However, when the name was officially made public, the company was severely trolled on the microblogging site and the name ‘Comirnaty’ became a fresh fodder for memes.

A user tweeted, “Achievement unlocked: full FDA approval. Also unlocked: crappy hard-to-pronounce word — Comirnaty. Thanks, marketing.”

Also read | Miami doctor dies after taking Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine; CDC launches investigation

“I feel like the brainstorm session that came up with the name ‘Comirnaty’ either ended too soon or went on way too long,” Nick Mark, a pulmonologist based in Seattle, tweeted.

Another user made a sardonic remark to express his dismay. “Comirnaty. Like a black out drunk person trying to say “Community.”

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But there were also others who emphasised the importance of getting vaccinated rather than indulging in ridicule.

“Since a lot of people are asking. The correct pronunciation of Comirnaty is: "keepz-u-out-of-the-hospital-saves-UR-life-protects-your-community,” Ben Wakana, a member of the White House's COVID-19 response team, tweeted on Monday.

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Explaining the rationale behind the naming, Pfizer said they wanted to emphasize COVID-19 immunization and the vaccine's core mRNA technology. They also wanted to reflect “community” and “immunity” into the final product.

“The name represents a combination of the terms COVID-19, mRNA, community, and immunity, to highlight the first authorization of a messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine, as well as the joint global efforts that made this achievement possible with unprecedented rigour and efficiency — and with safety at the forefront — during this global pandemic,” Pfizer and BioNTech was quoted by local media.

(with inputs from agencies)

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