Prince Harry and Meghan have joined Charlize Theron, former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UNAIDS Director Winnie Byanyima, former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and over 120 other world leaders and organizations in calling for wealthy nations to step up and commit to ending the pandemic.
In a powerfully-worded open letter published on the second anniversary of COVID-19 officially being declared a pandemic, and coordinated by the People’s Vaccine Alliance, the co-signed reminded wealthy countries that the pandemic is not over for everyone, everywhere, and that there are still a great number of people — particularly in low- and middle-income nations — that are in urgent need of COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments.
“While some in wealthy countries become complacent about this unprecedented crisis,” the letter read, “billions of people in the global south remain vulnerable to this terrible disease, facing the threat of severe illness and death.”
The letter also stresses that urgent vaccine equity is needed to avoid stronger variants emerging that current vaccines may not be able to defend against.
This is not the first time that Prince Harry and Meghan, or Charlize Theron, have called for global vaccine equity. In October 2021, prior to the Omicron outbreak, Theron made a public call for a waiver on patents, and for wealthy countries to prioritize vaccinating low-income nations ahead of administering booster shots to their own populations.