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Vax Live concert adds Duke and Duchess of Sussex

Campaign leads Harry and Meghan will speak at this weekend’s benefit concert, which aims to secure $19bn for equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines

By IQ on 28 Apr 2021

Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex

Harry and Meghan on a visit to the Republic of Ireland in 2018


image © Crown Copyright

Global Citizen has announced Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as the campaign leads for 2 May’s Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World, featuring Jennifer Lopez, Foo Fighters and more.

The concert, which aims to raise from governments US$19 billion for the WHO’s vaccine-sharing programme, the Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), will feature the British royals delivering an “important global message for vaccine equity”, according to organisers.

Other high-profile guests confirmed to appear at the event, which be streamed on 8 May via YouTube, as well as a number of US broadcasters, include US president Joe Biden, French president Emmanuel Macron, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, actors Ben Affleck and Sean Penn and recording artist Selena Gomez, who will host the show.

In addition to Lopez and Foo Fighters, the show will include performances from J Balvin, Eddie Vedder and HER.

“ We will all benefit, we will all be safer, when everyone everywhere has equal access to the vaccine,” say the Duke and Duchess in a joint statement. “We must pursue equitable vaccine distribution, and in that, restore faith in our common humanity. This mission couldn’t be more critical or important.”

“We are truly grateful for the time, effort and energy that everyone has given to make Vax Live a reality”

According to Global Citizen, whose Unite for Our Future concert last summer raised nearly $7bn to help fund vaccine research, a further $19bn is the figure needed to provide 1.8bn doses of Covid-19 vaccines to the developing world by the end of 2021. Over $11bn has already been pledged by the Coca-Cola Foundation, Cisco, the Analog Devices Foundation and an unnamed Swiss foundation.

Taking place at Los Angeles’ Sofi Stadium on 2 May, the concert will be pre-taped and air on 8 May. It is executive produced by Global Citizen, Live Nation, YouTube Originals, iHeart Media, the Ad Council and Covid Collaborative and Teneo.

“We are truly grateful for the time, effort and energy that everyone has given to make Vax Live a reality within just a few months,” says Katie Hill, head of music, entertainment and artist relations for Global Citizen. “We’re thrilled to be hosting Global Citizen’s first live event since the pandemic began alongside these incredible artists, entertainers and individuals who are donating their time to support our mission to achieve vaccine equity and build vaccine confidence globally.

“I’m moved by the enthusiasm of every Vax Live participant to play a role in ending the Covid-19 pandemic as we all work together to come back, safely.”

 


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