Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are continuing their pursuit for COVID-19 vaccine equity.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, alongside World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, urged leaders at the G20 Summit to act immediately to help end the pandemic in a powerful open letter.
This follows the recent WHO roundtable Harry and Meghan held in New York City in September where leaders from across global public health, government, and civil society discussed the barriers to vaccine access in low-income nations.
Harry and Meghan’s letter began, “When the leaders of the world’s wealthiest nations met at the G7 Summit in June, they collectively announced that one billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines would be sent to low- and low-and-middle-income countries to help vaccinate the world. Pharmaceutical companies have pledged almost the same.
“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?
“Of the almost seven billion doses that have been administered globally, just three per cent of people in low-income countries have had a jab so far. Where are the rest?”
It continued, “COVAX, the initiative designed to help achieve fair global access to COVID vaccines, has been promised 1.3 billion doses to be donated for the low-income countries it supports, yet it has been able to ship only 150 million – 11.5 percent – to date. Where are the rest?
“Promises aren’t translating into vaccines reaching the people that need them.
“Among countries represented at the G20, there are a handful with millions of surplus vaccines that are destined to be wasted once they expire. Every discarded dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, when there are the mechanisms to donate them, should outrage us all. Each dose represents a real person—a mother, father, daughter, or son—who could have been protected.
“Each of us come from very different places, backgrounds, and life experiences, but we share a common goal: to tackle global inequity.”
Read the full letter here.
As well as taking part in “Global Citizen Live”, Harry and Meghan also took part in Global Citizen’s “Vax Live: The Convert To Reunite The World” back in May.