Harry & Meghan Will Lead Star-Studded Concert To Increase Vaccine Availability
The global concert event will be hosted by Selena Gomez and feature appearances by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle along with tons of other celebs
The only way to end the COVID-19 pandemic is to get as many people around the globe vaccinated as possible — a goalpost made challenging by a lack of access to adequate supply, health care support to administer vaccines, and in some cases, anti-vaxxers and COVID deniers who refuse to acknowledge the seriousness of the pandemic and the vital role that the vaccines will play in saving thousands of lives around the world.
In an effort to promote vaccine awareness, some of the biggest celebrities on the planet are joining forces for a star-studded event hosted by Global Citizens. On May 8 at 8PM EST, Selena Gomez will host VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World, a pre-taped concert event that will both celebrate the hope and promise that vaccines are bringing, as well as a call to world leaders to “step up to make sure vaccines are accessible for all so we can end the pandemic for everyone, everywhere,” reads a statement on the official website.
Gomez will be joined by a dizzying list of stars and government officials making appearances or performing, including Global Citizen campaign chairs Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, President Joe Biden, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, President Emmanuel Macron of France, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and Prime Minister Zoran Plenković of Croatia.
Also making appearances will be Ben Affleck, Chrissy Teigen, David Letterman, Gayle King, Jimmy Kimmel, Nomzamo Mbatha, Olivia Munn, and Sean Penn. The event will also include musical performances from Jennifer Lopez, H.E.R., J Balvin, Eddie Vedder, and the Foo Fighters. The audience will consist of fully vaccinated frontline and essential workers.
People reports that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be on hand to deliver “an important global message for vaccine equity,” a vital issue as countries like India are facing record COVID cases, maxed out healthcare systems, and not enough vaccine supply. Speakers will be pleading with leaders and governments “to get two billion COVID-19 vaccine doses, tests and treatments to the world’s poorest countries by the end of 2021.”
Along with calling on world leaders, the night’s speakers will also be asking philanthropists and corporations to donate “dollars-for-doses” to help vaccinate health workers around the world.
In a statement, Gomez shared that she’s “honored” to be hosting the event. “This is a historic moment to encourage people around the world to take the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them, call on world leaders to share vaccine doses equitably and to bring people together for a night of music in a way that hasn’t felt possible in the past year. I can’t wait to be a part of it.”
“Over the past year, our world has experienced pain, loss, and struggle — together. Now we need to recover and heal—together,” Harry and Meghan said in a statement, as reported by Harper’s Bazaar. “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.”
The concert will be pre-recorded at So-Fi Stadium in Los Angeles, one of California’s mass vaccination sites. It will air on ABC, ABC News Live, CBS, YouTube, iHeartMedia broadcast radio stations and the iHeartRadio App starting at 8:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. CT, Fox starting at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT, and on YouTube on the Global Citizen channel.