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Pfizer, Moderna mRNA vaccine get new brand names and full Health Canada approval

Pfizer BioNTech’s vaccine will now be called Comirnaty and the Moderna’s vaccine will be named SpikeVax
Empty Moderna vaccine vials are shown before a COVID-19 vaccine drive-thru clinic at Richardson stadium in Kingston, Ont., on Friday, July 2, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg

The two most used vaccines in Canada have received full approval from the health regulator – and new names.

Pfizer BioNTech’s vaccine will now be called Comirnaty and the Moderna’s vaccine will be named SpikeVax.

Pfizer and Moderna are approved for use in people ages 12 and up. Pfizer said that they submitted long-term follow-up data from their Phase 3 trial, where the safety and efficacy was observed for up to six months.

“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,” said Fabien Paquette, vaccines lead at Pfizer Canada. “While a significant number of eligible Canadians are fully vaccinated, there is still much work to be done as infection and hospitalization rates continue to rise across the country, primarily among unvaccinated populations.”

According to Health Canada, Moderna recipients were followed for two months after they received their second shots.

“There were no important safety issues identified and no life-threatening adverse events (AEs) or deaths related to the vaccine,” the regulator said.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine will be named Vaxzevria but it has not made the transition to full approval.

“Canadians will continue to have access to AstraZeneca Vaxzevria® after September 16, 2021 while the submission is under review for transition to the Food and Drug Regulations,” Health Canada stated. This does not include the COVISHIELD version, which was formally administered via an interim order.

The Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine, which has been approved under an interim order but largely not administered in Canada, is also still awaiting full approval.

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