International advocacy organisation Global Citizen has said that it will cost $19billion to provide 1.8 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines for the world’s poorest.
Through the VAX LIVE campaign, it is calling on businesses to donate dollars for doses, G7 governments to share excess doses immediately, and for pharma companies to make vaccines available at not-for-profit prices.
Global Citizen in a statement yesterday announced exciting new additions to the line-up for VAX LIVE: The concert to reunite the world.
The broadcast and streaming special, scheduled to take place on Saturday, will be used to call on governments, the private sector and philanthropists to commit to securing the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, will serve as Campaign Chairs of VAX LIVE.
President Joe Biden of the United States, First Lady Dr Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will make a featured appearance as part of the “We Can Do This” national initiative to increase public confidence in and uptake of COVID-19 vaccines.
President Macron of France, Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada, and Prime Minister Plenkovic of Croatia will also make appearances.
With multi-platinum recording artist, actress and producer Selena Gomez as host, VAX LIVE—the first large-scale music event to be held for a COVID-compliant audience of fully vaccinated frontline workers—will be headlined by an impressive line-up of international music stars and celebrities.
They include Jennifer Lopez, Eddie Vedder, Foo Fighters, Ben Affleck, Chrissy Teigen, David Letterman, Nomzamo Mbatha, Gayle King, Jimmy Kimmel, Olivia Munn, and Sean Penn.
“Over the past year, our world has experienced pain, loss, and struggle—together. Now we need to recover and heal—together. We can’t leave anybody behind.
“We will all benefit, we will all be safer when everyone everywhere has equal access to the vaccine. We must pursue equitable vaccine distribution, and in that, restore faith in our common humanity.
“This mission couldn’t be more critical or important,” said Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, campaign chairs of VAX LIVE.
Katie Hill, Head of Music, Entertainment & Artist Relations at Global Citizen said: “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.
“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.”
As part of VAX LIVE, Global Citizen is campaigning to support the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) initiative—including COVAX—a vaccine-sharing programme co-led by the World Health Organisation (WHO), to ensure global equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
During the special, it will call on governments asking them to pledge a total of $19 billion, the outstanding balance needed by the ACT-A to get 1.8 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses plus tests and treatments to the world’s poorest countries by year-end.
As part of the campaign, Spain announced the donation of an estimated 7.5 million vaccine doses as soon as 50 per cent of the Spanish population is vaccinated.
France announced starting the sharing of doses for health workers across Africa with an initial donation of 100,000 this month, and at least 500,000 by June.
VAX LIVE is supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO), European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Prime Minister of Italy and G20 Chair Mario Draghi, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez, President of France Emmanuel Macron, and the State of California.
Policy partners include the WHO; the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI); Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator; the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) and UNITAID.
Philanthropic partners include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, New Venture Fund and Allan and Gill Gray Philanthropy.
In partnership with Declan Kelly and Teneo, the global CEO advisory firm, VAX LIVE and Global Citizen’s Recovery Plan for the World are supported by a coalition of global partners.