What We’re Reading: CGM Availability Widens; Fauci on Vaccine Release; US Rejects Global Initiative

September 2, 2020

Medicare patients can now get the FreeStyle Libre 2 continuous glucose monitor (CGM); Anthony S. Fauci, MD, discussed the chance of an early release of a COVID-19 vaccine; US backs out of World Health Organization’s vaccine initiative.

Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre 2 CGM Availability Widens to Include Medicare Patients

The United States’ top continuous glucose monitor (CGM), the FreeStyle Libre 2, has become available to Medicare patients who meet the eligibility coverage criteria, according to manufacturer Abbott. The CGM’s self-applied sensor, worn on the back of the upper arm for a maximum 2 weeks, provides real-time monitoring through use of a hand-held scanner. In addition to the United States, Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom also provide partial or full reimbursement for the FreeStyle Libre portfolio of products. In April, the FDA authorized in-hospital use of the FreeStyle Libre system for patients with diabetes during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

NIAID’s Fauci Speaks Out on Possible Early Availability of a COVID-19 Vaccine

Anthony S. Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), addressed the possibility that a COVID-19 vaccine could become available before year-end, reports Kaiser Health News —but only if the results are shown to be “overwhelmingly positive” after independent evaluation by the Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DMSB). Conversely, the DSMB can end trials early if interim results are negative. Three potential vaccines are currently being tested in US trials, each hoping to enroll 30,000 participants, for which Robert R. Redfield, MD, CDC director, says effectiveness can be seen following 150 to 175 infections.

US Rebuffs WHO Global Vaccine Initiative

The World Health Organization (WHO) is leading a global effort to bring an eventual COVID-19 vaccine candidate to high-risk residents of the nations who have chosen to participate, but this will not include the United States, per The Hill. COVAX was launched so that an eventual vaccine could be distributed even to poor and developing countries. For the 172 countries participating, vaccine doses should be available for at least 20% of their populations, says Gavi, the vaccine alliance, co-leader of COVAX, along with the WHO and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.