x
Breaking News
More () »

VERIFY: Yes, the FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty is available

Pfizer and Comirnaty are made using the same processes, and there are no differences between them in safety or effectiveness.

ATLANTA — As the push to get more people vaccinated continues, the 11Alive Verify team is fielding questions whether the newly approved COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty is already circulating.

THE QUESTION

Is the FDA-approved vaccine Comirnaty currently available?

SOURCES

  • Pfizer
  • Georgia Department of Public Health
  • Dr. Grace Gowda, an associate professor at University of Georgia's College of Pharmacy and an expert in FDA regulatory process

THE ANSWER

Yes, it's true Comirnaty is already available, but Georgia may not receive doses of the branded vaccine until mid-October.

   

This is true.

WHAT WE KNOW

"During clinical trials and emergency use authorization, vaccines typically go by a company name or a number," Dr. Gowda explained. 

That's why we've been calling the different shots Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson and Johnson, but those technically are not their proper names. 

When Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine got full approval from the FDA for people ages 16 and up, part of the approval process included labeling the vaccine with a brand name.

"The FDA reviews it and actually has to agree with it," Dr. Gowda said. "You have to get FDA clearance, and that is part of the approval process."

This allows Pfizer to advertise its vaccine under the brand name Comirnaty, and a spokesperson for the pharmaceutical company confirmed that yes, Comirnaty is indeed available:

This is already available. COMIRNATY and the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine have the same formulation and can be used interchangeably. They are made using the same processes, and there are no differences between them in safety or effectiveness.

While we can confirm that Comirnaty is available, we may have to wait a little longer to see the brand name pop up in Georgia. According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, Comirnaty will likely not be available in our state until sometime in October. A DPH spokesperson confirmed the state is still using its inventory of Pfizer.