The FDA approved Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine, which is officially named Comirnaty.
Late-night TV hosts and people on Twitter roundly ridiculed the name.
Jimmy Fallon said the name “sounds more like a drunk person trying to say ‘community.'”
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Though the news that the Food and Drug Administration approved Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine was met with cheers, the vaccine’s official name, Comirnaty, has attracted widespread ridicule on social media and among late-night talk-show hosts.
“The new name of the fully approved Pfizer vaccine is Comirnaty,” Jimmy Fallon said during a recent episode of “The Tonight Show.” He added that the name “sounds more like a drunk person trying to say ‘community.'”
“Comirnaty” is an amalgamation of “COVID-19,” “immunity,” “community,” and “messenger RNA.” The name is supposed to evoke the word “community” and highlight the inaugural approval of an mRNA vaccine.
Seth Meyers wasn’t too impressed with this explanation. On “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” he mimed smoking a joint before saying, “It actually makes sense, dude.”
Scott Piergrossi, the president of operations and communications at the Brand Institute, the drug-naming company behind Comirnaty, told Fierce Pharma that a successful drug name should be strong, distinctive, and symbolic of the innovation that brought the product to life.
Meyers wasn’t convinced.
“We’ve finally run out of pharmaceutical names,” he said. “Did the approval catch Pfizer so off guard that they yelled out a name before they were ready?”
Pfizer declined to comment on the ridiculing of the vaccine’s name.
Twitter users also chimed in to jeer the official name.
“I feel like the brainstorm session that came up with the name ‘Comirnaty’ either ended too soon or went on way too long,” said Nick Mark, a pulmonary and critical-care physician.
“The person(s) who came up with this name should never be allowed to name anything ever again. They shouldn’t even be allowed to name their pets,” said Christopher Bouzy, a product developer.
“With Pfizer officially naming its COVID vaccine ‘Comirnaty,’ Moderna should follow up by naming its vaccine ‘Ehrmagerd! Verksern!'” the Chicago Tribune humor columnist Rex Huppke said.
Meyers did say the full approval of the vaccine was amazing news.
“It will hopefully convince more people to get vaccinated, and we should all be thrilled,” he said.
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