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, each gave an impassioned call for vaccine equity during last night’s global telecast and streaming special. Said Prince Harry: “This pandemic will not end unless we act collectively with an unprecedented commitment to our shared humanity.”
Prince Harry, who gave his remarks in front of an audience of vaccinated frontline healthcare workers and essential workers, called the gathering “a celebration of each of you here,” and the “millions of frontline heroes around the world.”
But he added that this is also a moment to make a global commitment to vaccine equity, saying, “The vaccine must be distributed to everyone, everywhere. We cannot rest or truly recover until there is fair distribution to every corner of the world. None of us should be comfortable with thinking that we can be fine when so many others are suffering. In reality, and especially with this pandemic, when any suffer, we all suffer.” He then used the VAX LIVE stage to stand in solidarity with the millions of families across India who are battling a devastating second wave.
In addition to battling a viral pandemic, Prince Harry noted that we’re fighting a digital pandemic, calling vaccine misinformation and disinformation, magnified by social media as well as parts of traditional media, “a collective threat to humanity.” He continued, “I believe that misinformation is a global humanitarian crisis.”
In her segment during the telecast and streaming special, The Duchess recognized the disproportionate toll the pandemic has had on women. “Women—and especially women of color—have seen a generation of economic gain wiped out. Since the pandemic began, nearly five and a half million women have lost work in the US, and 47 million more women around the world are expected to slip into extreme poverty.”
She continued: “But if we work together to bring vaccines to every country and continent, insist that vaccines are equitably distributed and fairly priced, and ensure that governments around the world are donating their additional vaccines to countries in need, then we can begin to fully rebuild. Not only to restore us to where we were before, but to go further…and rapidly advance the conditions, opportunity, and mobility for women everywhere.”
The Duke and Duchess are thrilled to soon be welcoming a daughter, and this joyful time has only strengthened their resolve. “When we think of her,” The Duchess said, “we think of all the young women and girls around the globe who must be given the ability—and support—to lead us forward.”
In closing her remarks, The Duchess looked ahead: “We want to make sure that as we recover, we recover stronger. That as we rebuild, we rebuild together.”
Global Citizen’s VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World mobilized $302 million in funding and over 26 million COVID-19 vaccines to provide equitable vaccine access to the world’s most marginalized communities and health care workers in critical need. The Duke and Duchess called for citizens to publicly donate to COVAX, and at the time of writing their initiative has mobilized $535,000, which will help purchase 107,000 COVID-19 doses.
It’s not too late to make a difference: For a donation of just $5, you can cover the cost of a vaccine for someone in need. And because The Duke and Duchess and Global Citizen were able to secure matching support from a number of organizations, if you give $5 on or before May 16, your $5 will automatically turn into $20—covering the cost of four doses.