Health Canada authorizes new names for COVID-19 vaccines


Health Canada has authorized brand name changes for three COVID-19 vaccines approved for use.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will now be named Comirnaty, the Moderna vaccine will be named SpikeVax, and the AstraZeneca vaccine will be named Vaxzevria, Health Canada said in a tweet Thursday.

“These are only name changes. There are no changes to the vaccines themselves,” the agency tweeted.

Pfizer and Moderna say that this change also marks the full approval of their vaccines for those 12 years old and up in Canada, which had been previously approved under an interim approval set to expire Thursday.

"Based on the longer-term follow-up data that we submitted, today's decision by Health Canada affirms the efficacy and safety profile of our vaccine at a time when it is urgently needed,” Fabien Paquette, vaccines lead at Pfizer Canada, said in a press release.

Health Canada told CTV News in an email that when Pfizer and Moderna submitted their vaccines to Health Canada to seek approval under the Food and Drug Regulations following their interim approval, those applications included brand name changes.

The agency added that last March, they amended the Food and Drug Regulations to “provide a mechanism for COVID-19 products to gain permanent legal status,” while maintaining some of the “agile regulatory measures” that came with the interim approval.

“The Department has reviewed all the required data on safety, efficacy, and manufacturing processes for the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines,” the agency stated.

The new vaccine names are already being used for promotional purposes in the EU and the United States.

-- with files from CTV News and The Canadian Press --