SARS-CoV-2 Variants: Update on CDC Classifications

Grace Halsey

The CDC defines SARS-CoV-2 variants as of interest, of concern, and of high consequence. Get a quick update on how knowledge of known variants is changing.

There are currently 13 variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus being followed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Eight are classified as variants of interest and 5 as variants of concern.

Each classification describes and identifies the variant in terms of its impact on critical SARS-CoV-2 countermeasures including vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics. Of the 8 variants of interest, 4 were first identified in India. The 5 variants of concern being tracked are more contagious and have shown some decrease in susceptibility to current monoclonal antibody (mAB) treatment.

The following slides summarize the most salient details on 13 SARS-CoV-2 variants of interest and concern to the CDC as of May 26, 2021. The CDC data are updated regularly.