Meghan Markle and Prince Harry advocated for coronavirus vaccine equity during an appearance at Saturday’s Global Citizen Live event in New York City.
Markle, 40, emphasized that billions of people around the world do not have access to the coronavirus vaccine during her remarks.
“Every single person on this planet has a fundamental right to get this vaccine. That’s the point, but that’s not happening,” Markle said (via People magazine.)
“And while in this country and many others, you can go almost anywhere and get vaccinated, billions of people around the world cannot,” she continued. “This year, the world’s expected to produce enough doses to meet the target of vaccinating 70% of people in every single country. But it is wrong that so much of the vaccine supply has only gone to just 10 wealthy nations so far, and not everyone else. It’s just not OK.”
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Meanwhile, Prince Harry called out “ultra-wealthy pharmaceutical companies” for “not sharing” the information needed for vaccine production.
“Guys, we have what we need to vaccinate the world, but the experts told us, here’s what’s getting in the way,” Harry said. “They said many countries are ready to produce vaccines at home, yet they aren’t allowed to, because ultra-wealthy pharmaceutical companies are not sharing the recipes to make them.”
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“These countries have the means, the ability and the workers to start manufacturing. All they’re waiting for is the vaccine intellectual property to be waived and for the vaccine technology to be transferred over. And by the way, many of these vaccines were publicly funded. They are your vaccines, you paid for them.”
Prince Harry and Markle’s appearance was part of a 24-hour event to shed light on the lack of vaccine equity. The Global Citizen Live event called on G7 countries and the European Union to pledge access to at least one billion vaccines with countries most in need.
The royal couple also requested independent international organizations be allowed to determine which countries were most in need.
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Markle and Prince Harry have made multiple appearances throughout their time spent in NYC. Markle appeared at a Harlem-area elementary school Friday where she read her children’s book, “The Bench,” to schoolchildren.
The couple made their first appearance in NYC on Thursday at the One World Trade Center Observatory where they met with New York Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Bill de Blasio.