Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine



Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is an mRNA vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Generic Name
Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
DrugBank Accession Number

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (also known as BNT162b2, Tozinameran, and Comirnaty), is one of four advanced mRNA-based vaccines developed through "Project Lightspeed," a joint program between Pfizer and BioNTech.2,3,13 Comirnaty is a nucleoside modified mRNA (modRNA) vaccine encoding an optimized full-length version of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike (S) protein. It is designed to induce immunity against SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for causing COVID-19.2 The modRNA is formulated in lipid nanoparticles for administration via intramuscular injection in two doses, three weeks apart.1,3

Comirnaty is undergoing evaluation in clinical trials in both the USA (NCT04368728) and Germany (NCT04380701).4,5 Comirnaty received fast track designation by the U.S. FDA on July 13, 2020.6 On December 11, 2020, the FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) based on 95% efficacy in clinical trials and a similar safety profile to other viral vaccines over a span of approximately 2 months.1 Comirnaty was granted an EUA in the UK on December 2, 2020,8 and in Canada on December 9, 20207 for active immunization against SARS-CoV-2.12 Full FDA approval was granted on August 23, 2021.13

Currently, sufficient data are not available to determine the longevity of protection against COVID-19, nor direct evidence that the vaccine prevents the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus from one individual to another.9 Fact sheets for caregivers, recipients, and healthcare providers are now available.10,11

Approved, Investigational
Biologic Classification
Other vaccines
  • Tozinameran
External IDs
  • BNT162b2
  • BNT162b2 SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine
  • RNA ingredient BNT-162B2



Comirnaty is fully approved by the FDA and indicated for active immunization to prevent COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 in individuals aged 16 years and older.14

Safety and immune response information for adolescents 12-15 years of age will follow, and studies to further explore the administration of Comirnaty in pregnant women, children under 12 years of age, and those in special risk groups will be evaluated in the future.1

This vaccine should only be administered where appropriate medical treatment for immediate allergic reactions are immediately available in the case of an acute anaphylactic reaction after vaccine administration.12,7,8,14 Comirnaty administration should be postponed in any individual suffering from an acute febrile illness. Immunocompromised individuals maybe have a weaker immune response to Comirnaty.14

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Associated Conditions
Contraindications & Blackbox Warnings
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Comirnaty is a nucleoside modified mRNA (modRNA) vaccine encoding an optimized full-length version of the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein, translated and expressed in cells in vaccinated individuals to produce the S protein antigen against which an immune response is mounted. As with all vaccines, protection cannot be guaranteed in all recipients, and full protection may not occur until at least seven days following the second dose.7,8

In U.S. clinical trials, the vaccine was 95% effective in preventing COVID-19; eight COVID-19 cases occurred in the vaccine group and 162 cases occurred in the placebo group. Of the total 170 COVID-19 cases, one case in the vaccine group and three cases in the placebo group were considered to be severe infections.1,9

Mechanism of action

Comirnaty contains nucleoside modified mRNA (modRNA) encapsulated in lipid nanoparticles that deliver the modRNA into host cells. The lipid nanoparticle formulation facilitates the delivery of the RNA into human cells.12 Once inside these cells, the modRNA is translated by host machinery to produce a modified SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein antigen, which is subsequently recognized by the host immune system. Comirnaty has been shown to elicit both neutralizing antibody and cellular immune responses to the S protein, which helps protect against subsequent SARS-CoV-2 infection.7,8


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Volume of distribution

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Protein binding

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Route of elimination

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Adverse Effects
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Overdose data regarding Comirnaty are not readily available. Patients experiencing an overdose are at an increased risk of severe adverse effects such as injection site reactions, headache, arthralgia, myalgia, fatigue, chills, and pyrexia.7,8 Symptomatic and supportive measures are recommended.

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Pharmacogenomic Effects/ADRs
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Drug Interactions
This information should not be interpreted without the help of a healthcare provider. If you believe you are experiencing an interaction, contact a healthcare provider immediately. The absence of an interaction does not necessarily mean no interactions exist.
Not Available
Food Interactions
No interactions found.


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Brand Name Prescription Products
NameDosageStrengthRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
Comirnaty30 mcgIntramuscularBio N Tech Manufacturing Gmb H2021-01-06Not applicableEU flag
Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 VaccineInjection, suspension0.225 mg/2.25mLIntramuscularPfizer Manufacturing Belgium NV2020-12-12Not applicableUS flag
Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 VaccineSuspension30 mcg / 0.3 mLIntramuscularBiontech Manufacturing Gmbh2020-12-14Not applicableCanada flag
Unapproved/Other Products
NameIngredientsDosageRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 VaccinePfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (0.225 mg/2.25mL)Injection, suspensionIntramuscularPfizer Manufacturing Belgium NV2020-12-12Not applicableUS flag


Drug Categories
Not classified
Affected organisms
  • Humans and other mammals

Chemical Identifiers

CAS number


General References
  1. Polack FP, Thomas SJ, Kitchin N, Absalon J, Gurtman A, Lockhart S, Perez JL, Perez Marc G, Moreira ED, Zerbini C, Bailey R, Swanson KA, Roychoudhury S, Koury K, Li P, Kalina WV, Cooper D, Frenck RW Jr, Hammitt LL, Tureci O, Nell H, Schaefer A, Unal S, Tresnan DB, Mather S, Dormitzer PR, Sahin U, Jansen KU, Gruber WC: Safety and Efficacy of the BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine. N Engl J Med. 2020 Dec 10. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2034577. [Article]
  2. Gen Eng News: BNT162 vaccine candidates [Link]
  3. BioNTech BNT162 Update [Link]
  4. Clinical Trial NCT04368728 [Link]
  5. Clinical Trial NCT04380701 [Link]
  6. FDA fast track designation: BNT162b1 and BNT162b2 [Link]
  7. Health Canada Interim Product Monograph: BNT162b2 SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine [Link]
  8. MHRA Interim Product Monograph: BNT162b2 SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine [Link]
  9. FDA News Release: FDA Takes Key Action in Fight Against COVID-19 By Issuing Emergency Use Authorization for First COVID-19 Vaccine [Link]
  10. Pfizer: Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers Administering Vaccine, Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine [Link]
  11. Pfizer: Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers, Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine [Link]
  12. FDA Emergency Use Authorization: Full EUA Prescribing information, Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine [Link]
  13. FDA Press Announcements: FDA Approves First COVID-19 Vaccine [Link]
  14. FDA Approved Drug Products: Comirnaty (COVID-19 mRNA vaccine) Intramuscular Injection [Link]

Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials
4Not Yet RecruitingPreventionCoronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID‑19) / COVID-19 Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome / Immunosuppression1
4RecruitingOtherCoronavirus (SARS-CoV) / Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID‑19)1
4RecruitingPreventionChronic Liver Diseases (CLD) / Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID‑19)1
4RecruitingPreventionCoronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID‑19)1
4RecruitingTreatmentCoronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID‑19)1
3Active Not RecruitingOtherCoronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID‑19) / Immunocompromised Patients1
3Active Not RecruitingPreventionCoronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID‑19)1
3Active Not RecruitingPreventionCoronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID‑19) / Pneumococcal Diseases1
3CompletedPreventionCoronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID‑19)1
3Not Yet RecruitingPreventionCoronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID‑19) / Covid19, Vaccines1


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Dosage Forms
Injection, suspensionIntramuscular0.225 mg/2.25mL
SuspensionIntramuscular30 mcg / 0.3 mL
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Experimental Properties
Not Available

Drug created on July 13, 2020 15:14 / Updated on August 24, 2021 14:22