Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are set to act as campaign chairs of Global Citizen’s effort to provide medical personnel in poor countries around the world with COVID-19 vaccines.
The advocacy organization dedicated to combatting poverty announced on Tuesday that the Royals will appear at “Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World.” The concert is set to be taped Sunday at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles and air on ABC, CBS, FOX, YouTube, and iHeartMedia broadcast radio stations on May 8, according to the Associated Press.
Global Citizen’s website explains the organization’s views on the current state of the pandemic:
The COVID-19 pandemic cannot end until all countries have access to lifesaving vaccine doses. Initiatives like COVAX can ensure COVID-19 vaccines reach every person that needs them, but not without support from government leaders, corporations, philanthropists, and Global Citizens everywhere demanding vaccine equity.
The organization said that the Royals “will serve as campaign chairs of VAX LIVE, encouraging the private sector to make donations to COVAX, the vaccine pillar of the ACT-Accelerator, to ensure everyone, everywhere can access COVID-19 vaccines.”
Prince Harry and Meghan said, “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. 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.”
Actress and singer Selena Gomez is scheduled to host the “Vax Live” program and will include musical performances by Jennifer Lopez, Eddie Vedder, Foo Fighters, J Balvin, and H.E.R. Additional guests from around the globe will also reportedly discuss the importance of vaccine equity, including Ben Affleck, Chrissy Teigen, David Letterman, Gayle King, Jimmy Kimmel, Nomzamo Mbatha, Olivia Munn, and Sean Penn.
The program comes as the United States recently announced plans to send up to 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to countries around the world pending a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) assessment.
“The administration is looking at options to share American-made AstraZeneca vaccine doses during the next few months,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, noting that the U.S. was confident in its supply of other vaccine doses. “Given AstraZeneca is not authorized for use in the United States, we do not need to use AstraZeneca in our fight against Covid over the next few months.”
Psaki clarified that as of right now, the United States has “zero doses available of AstraZeneca,” adding that the FDA needs to conduct a review to ensure that the vaccine meets the United States’ guidelines. She also said that the FDA concurrence could arrive in the coming weeks and stressed that the results of the move are not immediate.
World leaders have made similar proposals to share their vaccine doses with other countries as part of the “Vax Live” effort, including France and Spain.
“Last autumn, I called for the sharing of the doses ordered by our countries, to ensure both solidarity and health security,” said President Emmanuel Macron of France. “This winter I proposed that each country share at least 5% of the doses ordered with the poorest countries. I can already tell you that, as far as France is concerned, this objective will be exceeded by the end of the year. With the European vaccine sharing mechanism via the COVAX initiative that France is inaugurating, we are in concrete solidarity in the fight against the virus, which does not care about borders. Today I call on all my colleagues to join this momentum and make a commitment at VAX LIVE.”
“As part of the VAX LIVE campaign, the Government of Spain will facilitate to Latin America and the Caribbean a quantity of vaccines against COVID-19 that corresponds, at least, to between 5% and 10% of the total vaccines that our country receives throughout 2021,” said Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sánchez. “I am proud of my country and of the dedication of its people, including public representatives, for showing solidarity in responding to this crisis, that has been so brutal both in Spain and abroad.”
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