Prince Harry and Meghan Markle today signed an open letter accusing the UK and ‘rich’ neighbours of pursuing ‘self-defeating nationalism’ to deny African and Asian countries the right to make their own Covid-19 vaccines.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are campaigning for Britain to work with pharmaceutical companies to waive intellectual property rights on the life-saving jabs in the latest flashpoint between Harry and his home country.
In an open letter published this afternoon, Meghan, Harry and other signatories warned ‘the pandemic is not over’, and blamed ‘self-defeating nationalism, pharmaceutical monopolies and inequality’ for the entire world not being vaccinated by now.
The UK has vowed to donate 100million coronavirus vaccine doses within the next year to low-income countries as part of at least 1billion doses due from the G7. There have been a number of African countries, including Nigeria, where more than one million doses were destroyed last year because they expired after low uptake saw just two per cent of the population fully vaccinated in 2021.
In December experts said up to one third of Africa’s Covid vaccine deliveries remain in storage as rollouts are hindered by jab hesitancy and infrastructure problems.
The Sussexes have repeatedly called for global vaccine equity, comparing it to the HIV crisis in 1980s and 1990s, and today their Archewell Foundation joined The People’s Vaccine coalition, a group of 90 famous names and organisations demanding…