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Pfizer vaccine’s brand name – Comirnaty

Such was the speed at which Covid vaccines were developed, they all entered the market without registered names. The world has distinguished them by the name of the parent company who produced them.

The FDA has now officially approved Pfizer’s Covid vaccine, and as part of the process, the vaccine’s official brand name (Comirnaty) was also approved. The name uses the prefix ‘co-’ for community, ‘mirna’ for mRNA, and ‘-ty’ as a nod towards the end of ‘community’ and ‘immunity’. It is pronounced ‘koe-mir’-na-tee’ which seems quite complex if compared to Moderna’s Spikevax.

The name has attracted a surprising amount of public attention, criticism and ridicule for a pharmaceutical brand name. It seems to make little logical sense from a customer perspective due to the complicated pronunciation which makes it even hard to remember.

A brand name should be memorable and unique, but not so unique that it can’t even be spelt. Marketing Week columnist Mark Ritson suspects a deeper strategy may be at play – ‘in terms of brand architecture, the vaccine becoming known as the ‘Pfizer vaccine’ is an ideal outcome as it ensures that the positive implications of the vaccine flow directly back to the Pfizer mothership and its corporate brand’.

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