Last month, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle headed to NYC for the 24-hour Global Citizen Live event in Central Park, which aimed to promote equal access to the COVID-19 vaccine, and now the Sussexes are doubling-down on their commitment to cause. In an open letter released today, co-written with World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex call on G20 leaders to increase access to the COVID-19 vaccine for low-income countries, most of which have lagged behind in vaccination rates.
"When the leaders of the world’s wealthiest nations met at the G7 Summit in June, they collectively announced that 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines would be sent to low- and low-and-middle-income countries to help vaccinate the world," they write. "Yet, as several nations still don’t even have enough vaccines for their own health workers, the world is left asking: Where are the doses?" They added, "Promises aren’t translating into vaccines reaching the people that need them."
The letter goes on to call on the G20 leaders to, among other steps, speed donations to COVAX (an initiative aimed at improving global access to the COVID vaccine), eliminate restrictions on exporting the vaccine, waive intellectual property issues around the vaccine to promote access to the technology, and fund the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator.
The message concludes saying, "There are many crises that you—the stewards of our planet—must grapple with this weekend: the climate emergency, the state of our global economy, a recommitment to multilateralism. Yet, in many ways, making headway on these priorities depends on whether we can beat this pandemic. Cooperation of historic proportion is the only solution. Lives literally depend on it."
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