Health Canada has approved name changes for the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines — and many British Columbians are mocking them.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will now be named Comirnaty, the Moderna vaccine will be named SpikeVax, and the AstraZeneca vaccine will be named Vaxzevria, explains the health department.
Health Canada points out the vaccines themselves are not changing — only the names are.
Numerous Metro Vancouverites have taken to social media to question why the manufacturers need to change the names of the vaccines, particularly when it may lead to a great deal of confusion.
Several people have pointed out that a couple of the names are decidedly difficult to pronounce at first glance, too. Crystal Mundy asks on Twitter: "Why does Pfizer sound drunk?"
Another person says it increase "public confusion" and while they understand the SpikeVax choice, they ask, " why ‘Comirnaty’??? It’s such a bland and unflattering tongue-twisting name that many will struggle to remember."
Numerous people asked if the announcement is a prank, with some locals asking if Health Canada was pulling an early April Fool's Day joke. Others pointed out that the anti-vaccine community may "have a field day" with the confusion.
Pfizer-BioNTech says the "Comirnaty" name represents a combination of the terms COVID-19, mRNA, community, and immunity.
Several people also say "Comirnaty" is a "nerdy" name. One woman writes, "I think Comirnaty was that substitute teacher from seventh grade that wouldn't let anyone use the hall pass."
While many people thought all of the names were poor choices, SpikeVax appears to have the lion's share of approval — some people actually love it. One person jokes: "Yay I’m SpikeVaxxed sounds rad!"
Have a look at what some other people expressed on social media.
With files from the Canadian Press.