Comirnaty: Why the president of the American Naming Society isn’t exactly a fan of the name

By Phoebe Bain

August 25, 2021

She prefers Covuity, which was also in the running for Pfizer’s Covid vaccine.

After gaining full US FDA approval this week, Pfizer can now market its Covid vaccine by a brand name: Comirnaty, a combo of the words community, immunity, mRNA, and Covid.

  • If you’re a marketer from Brand Institute—the naming company that coined Pfizer’s official vaccine name—this isn’t news to you.
  • “Over 1,000 names were created to ultimately arrive at Comirnaty,” Scott Piergrossi, president, creative at Brand Institute, told Marketing Brew.
  • Brand Institute also helped Moderna choose its vaccine’s official name (spoiler alert: it’s Spikevax), per Newsweek.

Big picture: As The Washington Post noted, Comirnaty was roasted online. So we spoke with Laurel Sutton, president of the American Name Society and cofounder of naming agency Catchword, to get an expert’s opinion on the new moniker.

The verdict? She’s just not that into it. Sutton told us Comirnaty is “quite difficult to pronounce,” calling it a “naming company name,” aka one that was “obviously coined…in order to fulfill the requirements for legal availability and FDA requirements for drug names, which are quite strict.”

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