As Campaign Chairs of Global Citizen’s VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World, Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are helping lead a worldwide effort to equitably distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to everyone, everywhere, and will be delivering an important message for vaccine equity during the May 8 global broadcast and streaming special.
In their work as Campaign Chairs, The Duke and Duchess have also been leading a coordinated drive across the private sector to raise critical funds for COVAX—a vaccine-sharing program co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO).
“Over the past year, our world has experienced pain, loss, and struggle—together. Now we need to recover and heal—together. We can’t leave anybody behind,” The Duke and Duchess said in the announcement. “We will all benefit, we will all be safer, when everyone, everywhere has equal access to the vaccine. We must pursue equitable vaccine distribution, and in that, restore faith in our common humanity. This mission couldn’t be more critical or important.”
During the program, VAX LIVE will call on philanthropists and corporations to donate enough “dollars for doses” to help vaccinate more than 27 million frontline health workers. Global Citizen will also implore governments to pledge a total of $19 billion to get 1.8 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses plus tests and treatments to the world’s poorest countries by the end of 2021.
In response to VAX LIVE’s efforts thus far, Cisco, Analog Devices Foundation, The Coca-Cola Foundation, and a Swiss foundation that prefers to remain anonymous have announced commitments totaling $11.5 million to fund the purchase of an estimated 2.3 million vaccine doses for health workers.
As part of the campaign, Spain announced the donation of an estimated 7.5 million vaccine doses as soon as 50% of the Spanish population is vaccinated. France announced starting the sharing of doses for health workers across Africa, with an initial donation of 100,000 this month and at least 500,000 by June.
Hosted by Selena Gomez, VAX LIVE will feature appearances by President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, President Emmanuel Macron of France, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković of Croatia, as well as performances by Jennifer Lopez, Eddie Vedder, Foo Fighters, J Balvin, and H.E.R.
The special airs on ABC, ABC News Live, CBS, iHeartMedia, and on the Global Citizen channel on YouTube, at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT, and on FOX at 11 p.m. ET. Internationally, VAX LIVE will air on Globo in Brazil, Caracol in Colombia, SABC in South Africa, and MultiChoice across Africa.