Coronavirus Variant Tracker – The New York Times

February 12, 2021

B.1.1.7, B.1.351

The D614G mutation emerged in eastern China early in the pandemic and then quickly spread around the world, displacing other coronaviruses that did not have the mutation.

The D614G mutation is thought to make the coronavirus more infectious, but it does not appear to make the disease more severe or help the virus escape vaccines.

The N501Y mutation arose independently in several variants of concern, including the B.1.1.7, B.1.351 and P.1 lineages.

The mutation is near the tip of the coronavirus spike, where it seems to change the shape of the protein to be a tighter fit with human cells.

The E484K mutation arose independently in multiple lineages, including B.1.351 and P.1. Scientists are also concerned that the mutation was recently found in some samples from the B.1.1.7 lineage from Britain. …
The mutation occurs near the top of the coronavirus spike, where it alters the shape of the protein. This change may help the spikes evade some types of coronavirus antibodies.