How Did the Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Get Its Name?
A rose by any other name might smell as sweet, but try calling one a "Comirnaty" and see how far it gets you. That strange word is actually the brand name given to the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. Pronounced "Koe-mir'-na-tee," the vaccine's name was the brainchild of the naming agency Brand Institute, which started working on it back in April 2020.
According to that company's president, Scott Piergrossi, the goal of naming the product was to "overlap ideas and layer meaning." In a mouthful of a statement, Pfizer and BioNTech explained that Comirnaty "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 rigor and efficiency — and with safety at the forefront — during this global pandemic."
Other names considered for the vaccine, which was approved by the FDA in August 2021, included Covuity, RnaxCovi, Kovimerna, and RNXtract.
What's in a (brand) name:
- The reason Facebook employs a blue color scheme is because founder Mark Zuckerberg has red-green color blindness.
- Pepsi-Cola was named for the digestive enzyme pepsin, because Pepsi's inventor thought it could help with digestion.
- Lego got its name by combining the words in the Danish phrase "Leg Godt," which means "play well."
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