SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Variant Classifications and Definitions

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) established a SARS-CoV-2 Interagency Group (SIG) to improve coordination among the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Food and DrugAdministration (FDA), Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), and Department of Defense (DoD). This interagency group is focused on the rapid characterization of emerging variants and actively monitors their potential impact on critical SARS-CoV-2 countermeasures, including vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.

In collaboration with the SIG, CDC established a classification scheme that defines three classes of variants of SARS-CoV-2. These classes include definitions and attributes of the variants.

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