Prince Harry Advocates for Vaccine Equity in First Public Appearance Since Prince Philip's Funeral

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Annie Goldsmith
·3 min read
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Photo credit: Kevin Winter - Getty Images
Photo credit: Kevin Winter - Getty Images

Prince Harry received a warm welcome in Los Angeles last night. The Duke of Sussex spoke at Global Citizen's VAX Live: The Concert to Reunite the World taping, discussing COVID-19 vaccine distribution and aid. This appearance marks Harry's first public outing since his grandfather, Prince Philip's funeral, and it was for a good cause.

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are co-chairs of the Vax Live event, which will promote global, equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, in addition to advocating for increased public confidence in the shots. The concert taped on Sunday, May 2, and will air on May 8. The event is star-studded—Selena Gomez is hosting the show, which will also include a special featured message from President Joe Biden, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, and Vice President Kamala Harris, as part of their "We Can Do This" national initiative to increase uptake in the COVID-19 vaccine. The broadcast will feature performances from Jennifer Lopez, Eddie Vedder, Foo Fighters, J Balvin, and H.E.R.

The event was taped in front of a live audience of vaccinated frontline workers, who received an early viewing of Prince Harry's speech.

"Hi everybody. We are at a defining moment in the global fight against COVID-19. 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 in his address. "You spent the last year battling courageously and selflessly to protect us all. You served and sacrificed, put yourselves in harm's way and with bravery knowing the costs. We owe you an incredible depth of gratitude, thank you."

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"But we're also coming together because this pandemic cannot end unless we act collectively with an unprecedented commitment to our shared humanity. 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. The mission in front of us is one we cannot afford to fail out and that's what tonight is about. The virus does not respect borders and access to the vaccine cannot be determined by geography. It must be accepted as a basic right for all and that is our starting point," he continued, as reported by People.

Photo credit: Kevin Mazur - Getty Images
Photo credit: Kevin Mazur - Getty Images

"None of us should be comfortable thinking that we could be fine when so many others are suffering. In reality, and especially with this pandemic, when any suffer, we all suffer. We must look beyond ourselves with empathy and compassion for those we know, and those we don't. We need to lift up all of humanity and make sure that no person or community is left behind. What we do in this moment will stand in history and tonight, we stand in solidarity with the millions of families across India who are battling a devastating second wave," the Prince concluded.

Prince Harry's wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, is also set to appear in the program. Given that she is in the late stages of her pregnancy, she did not attend the event taping. However, Harper's Bazaar reports that she recorded a featurette, which will be screened during broadcasts of the event.

Tune in to the concert on May 8 at 8 p.m. EST/ 7 p.m. CT on ABC, ABC News Live, CBS, YouTube, iHeartMedia radio stations, and the iHeartRadio app. The broadcast will also air again on FOX at 11 p.m. EST.

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