Prince Harry calls for equitable distribution of Covid vaccines

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Photograph: Valérie Macon/AFP/Getty Images

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The Duke of Sussex made his first public appearance since the funeral of his grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, at a charity concert in Los Angeles to promote the equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines worldwide.

Read the latest news and updates on India’s Covid emergency.

Prince Harry urged people to “look beyond ourselves with empathy and compassion” during a speech at Vax Live, hosted by Global Citizen at the SoFi stadium before an audience of vaccinated guests.

Harry, appearing without the Duchess of Sussex who is expecting their second child, praised the world’s frontline medical workers at the concert which featured a host of famous names from the worlds of music, film and politics.

© 2021 Getty Images
INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA: In this image released on May 2, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex speaks onstage during Global Citizen VAX LIVE: The Concert To Reunite The World at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. Global Citizen VAX LIVE: The Concert To Reunite The World will be broadcast on May 8, 2021. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Global Citizen VAX LIVE)

He pleaded for vaccines to be distributed to everyone, everywhere.

“Tonight is a celebration of each of you here, the vaccinated frontline workers in the audience and the millions of frontline heroes around the world,” he said.


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“You spent the last year battling courageously and selflessly to protect us all. You served and sacrificed, put yourselves in harm’s way, and acted with bravery, knowing the costs. We owe you an incredible debt of gratitude. Thank you.”

It was Harry’s first public appearance in the US since his and Meghan’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in March. He and Meghan are campaign chairs for the VaxLive event, which was hosted by Selena Gomez and featured musical performances from Jennifer Lopez, Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Foo Fighters, J Balvin and HER.

This image provided by Harpo Productions shows Prince Harry, left, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, in conversation with Oprah Winfrey. “Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special” airs March 7, 2021. Britain’s royal family and television have a complicated relationship. The medium has helped define the modern monarchy: The 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was Britain’s first mass TV spectacle. Since then, rare interviews have given a glimpse behind palace curtains at the all-too-human family within. (Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions via AP, File)

The event raised £38.3m ($53.8m ) for Covax, which is working to provide vaccines for low and middle income countries. US president, Joe Biden, and Pope Francis were among dignitaries to send messages of support.

Messages about vaccine equity were heard from guests including Ben Affleck, David Letterman, Gayle King, Jimmy Kimmel and Sean Penn.

President Biden said in a video address that the US was “working with leaders around the world to share more vaccines and boost production to make sure every country has the vaccines they need”.

Global Citizen co-founder and CEO, Hugh Evans, said: “Global Citizen initially set out to secure enough funding from philanthropists, the private sector and governments, to purchase 10m vaccine doses as part of our campaign. Through the amazing work of our hosts, campaign chairs, and actions taken by global citizens, I am proud that tonight we have already surpassed our goal, securing enough funding for 10.3m doses.

“And the momentum is only just building. Additional commitments are rolling in and will be announced as part of our global broadcast on 8 May. Critically we need to see the US and the UK step up and start sharing additional doses, and we need pharmaceutical companies such as Moderna to urgently provide millions of doses to Covax to the poorest countries at non-profit prices.”

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