Prince Harry and Meghan will take centre stage at a massive concert to improve global vaccine access featuring famous names including US President Joe Biden, Jennifer Lopez and Chrissy Teigen.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been announced as campaign chairs of VAX LIVE: The Concert To Reunite The World, created by advocacy group Global Citizen.

Selena Gomez will host the event with performances by JLo, Eddie Vedder, Foo Fighters, J Balvin, & H.E.R. in front of an audience of vaccinated frontline healthcare and essential workers at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.

Actors Ben Affleck, Sean Penn, Olivia Munn and Nomzamo Mbatha will also appear at the concert, along with TV hosts David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel and Gayle King.

Harry and Meghan will deliver "an important global message for vaccine equity during the event", according to the international organisation.

The couple have been fundraising across the private sector to raise funds for the World Health Organisation's vaccine-sharing program COVAX, which aims to ensure global access to COVID-19 jabs.

 

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"Over the past year, our world has experienced pain, loss, and struggle - together," Harry and Meghan said in a statement. "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."

Mr Biden will make an appearance at the concert along with First Lady Dr Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. France's President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Croatian Prime Minister Plenković will also appear at the concert, which will call on governments to pledge to COVAX.

The event will take place at 8pm Saturday May 8 Eastern Time, and Australian audiences will be able to watch it on live Global Citizen's YouTube Channel at 10am AEST on Sunday May 9.

Global Citizen, which was co-founded by Melbourne-born CEO Hugh Evans, is campaigning to support the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) initiative - including COVAX - to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

 

 

RELATED: Greta Thunberg donates $155k to COVAX scheme

The group will call on governments during the event to pledge a total of $US19 billion, the outstanding balance needed by the ACT-A to get 1.8 billion vaccine doses plus tests and treatments to the world's poorest countries by the end of 2021.

Spain has said it will donate an estimated 7.5 million vaccine doses as soon as 50 per cent of its population is vaccinated, while France announced it will start sharing doses for health workers across Africa with an initial donation of 100,000 this month, and at least 500,000 by June.

"COVAX has helped spur the rapid development of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines," said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi the Vaccine Alliance. "But this extraordinary effort will be for naught, if we don't get vaccines to the people who need them the most. This is the moment for the private sector to step up and support vaccine equity."

Cisco has donated $5 million, which will be matched by a Swiss Foundation who prefers to remain anonymous. The Analog Devices Foundation announced $1 million and The Coca-Cola Foundation announced $500,000.

This initial $11.5 million will fund the purchase of an estimated 2.3 million vaccine doses for health workers.

Last year, Global Citizen's One World: Together: At Home wth Lady Gaga raised more than $127.9 million to support healthcare workers, and Global Goal: Unite for Our Future with the European Commission secured $1.5 billion in cash grants and $5.4 billion in loans for testing, treatments and vaccines.

 

 

Originally published as Harry and Meghan to star in mega concert



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