SARS-CoV-2 classification system developed for variants

March 19, 2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), working with an interagency group, has developed a classification system for SARS-CoV-2 variants.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS said it established the SARS-CoV-2 Interagency Group (SIG) to improve coordination among the CDC, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), and the Department of Defense (DoD). In addition to developing the classification system, the group monitors the impact of the variants on vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.

The classification system includes three categories: variants of interest, variants of concern, and variants of high consequence.

Currently, there are no variants of high consequence, while the variants of interest include B.1.526 (New York), B.1.525 (New York), P.2 (Brazil). The variants of concern are those that have been the focus of much attention: B.1.1.7 (United Kingdom), P.1 (Japan/Brazil), B.1.351 (South Africa), B.1.427 (California), B.1.429 (California).

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