Rutgers global health expert Richard Marlink, M.D., is available to discuss the importance of prioritizing vaccinations in low- to middle-income countries that need it the most, following President Biden’s pledge to donate an additional 500 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and $750 million for vaccine distribution in poorer countries.
As the U.S. prepares to administer a third vaccination to people over 65 and at high risk, Marlink asserts that the strategy of ensuring populations in the rest of the world that have yet to receive their first vaccine dose should be prioritized.
“More than 60 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated, whereas, in many low-income countries, fewer than two percent of people have received even one dose,” said Marlink, who is the director at the Rutgers Global Health Institute and professor of medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “The more this virus spreads around the world, the more variants there will be. We already see the Delta variant of the virus changing the game, and the variants that follow could be even more dangerous. As long as large populations around the world are unprotected, we will all be at risk.”
Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) takes an integrated approach to educating students, providing clinical care and conducting research, all with the goal of improving human health. Aligned with Rutgers University–New Brunswick, and collaborating university-wide, RBHS includes eight schools, a behavioral health network and four centers and institutes. RBHS offers an outstanding education in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, public health, nursing, biomedical research and the full spectrum of allied health careers. RBHS clinical and academic facilities are located throughout the state.