As part of VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World, Global Citizen on Sunday surpassed the campaign goal of securing 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to help the world's most marginalized communities and health care workers access the vaccine.
Philanthropists and the private sector have pledged $53.8 million so far to help procure nearly 10.3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses as part of the campaign. The funding will also support the efforts of the World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund to procure essential personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers on the frontlines of the pandemic.
Corporate partners and philanthropists announced their support for vaccine procurement, medical tools, and supplies during VAX LIVE, taped at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, on Sunday and airing as a global broadcast and streaming special on May 8. More commitments will be revealed during the special.
“Global Citizen initially set out to secure enough funding from philanthropists, the private sector, and governments to purchase 10 million vaccine doses as part of our campaign," said Hugh Evans, co-founder and CEO of Global Citizen. "Through the amazing work of our hosts, campaign chairs, and actions taken by Global Citizens, I am proud that tonight we have already surpassed our goal, securing enough funding for 10.3 million doses.
"And the momentum is only building," he added. "Additional commitments are rolling in and will be announced as part of our global broadcast on May 8. Critically, we need to see the US and the UK step up and start sharing additional doses, and we need pharmaceutical companies such as Moderna to urgently provide millions of doses to COVAX for the poorest nations at nonprofit prices.“
VAX LIVE — the first large-scale music event for a COVID 19-compliant audience composed of fully vaccinated frontline health care and essential workers — is bringing together artists, entertainers, and world leaders to support vaccine equity.
The campaign launched earlier this year as part of Global Citizen’s broader Recovery Plan for the World campaign, with the aim of ending the COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring COVID-19 vaccines are made available to everyone, everywhere, and to inspire vaccine confidence around the world.
Global Citizen and its partners have led a coordinated drive across the private sector to urgently mobilize funding for the vaccine-sharing program COVAX AMC, a global initiative co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the WHO, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI) to ensure equitable vaccine access for low- and middle-income countries.
Over the past week, multi-platinum recording artist, actress, producer, and VAX LIVE host Selena Gomez as well as actress, activist, and Global Citizen Ambassador Priyanka Chopra Jonas have also taken to Twitter to urgently call on the world's leaders to pledge financial or vaccine dose support to COVAX as part of the campaign.
Pleased @POTUS & @VP are joining me for #VaxLive and that America will share 60M vaccines with countries in need. @BorisJohnson time for the UK to also join and announce the UK will start sharing some of its 113M excess doses! No one is safe until everyone is safe.— Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) April 30, 2021
COVAX aims to deliver 2 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of 2021 to end the acute phase of the pandemic, and unless more than half of the world’s population is immunized, an end to the pandemic is nowhere in sight.
The commitments announced on Sunday include $39.5 million toward COVAX AMC. Gavi, as part of Gavi’s Matching Funds Mechanism, has agreed to financially match pledges to at least US $11.75 million, for a total contribution of $51.25 million.
The May 8 broadcast will feature commitments from a number of philanthropic and private sector partners including Mastercard, Cisco, Procter & Gamble, The Analog Devices Foundation, The Stadler Family Foundation, Stanley Black & Decker, Accenture, Terumo Corporation, Spotify and The Coca-Cola Foundation.
This totals $53.8 million raised by philanthropists and the private sector in commitments to vaccine procurement, medical tools, and supplies.
Millions more in COVID-19 vaccine dose pledges are expected during the VAX LIVE broadcast on May 8. The campaign also called on governments to begin sharing vaccine doses immediately, and for pharmaceutical companies such as Moderna to urgently provide millions of doses to the poorest nations through at-cost pricing.
The special will also feature messages from His Holiness Pope Francis, US President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, US Vice President Kamala Harris, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sánchez, President of France Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, and Prime Minister of Croatia Andrej Plenkovic.
In support of the campaign, His Holiness Pope Francis called for “a spirit of justice that mobilizes us to ensure true universal access to vaccines, and a temporary suspension of intellectual property rights. A spirit of communion that allows us to generate a different economic model that is inclusive, just, and sustainable.”
President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden will appear as part of Global Citizen’s partnership with the White House’s “We Can Do This” initiative to increase public confidence in COVID-19 vaccines.
The US is “working with leaders around the world to share more vaccines and boost production to make sure every country has the vaccines they need,” said President Biden during their video address.
VAX LIVE campaign chairs Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, will also deliver an important global message for vaccine equity during the event.
VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World is hosted by Selena Gomez, featuring performances by Jennifer Lopez, Eddie Vedder, Foo Fighters, J Balvin, and H.E.R., as well as special appearances by Ben Affleck, Chrissy Teigen, David Letterman, Gayle King, Jimmy Kimmel, Nomzamo Mbatha, Olivia Munn, and Sean Penn.
The concert will air and livestream on Saturday, May 8, on ABC, ABC News Live, CBS, YouTube, and iHeartMedia broadcast radio stations and the iHeartRadio App, starting at 8 p.m. ET/PT and 7 p.m. CT. It will also air on FOX at 11 p.m. ET/PT, AXS TV, and will air internationally on Globo in Brazil, Caracol in Colombia, SABC in South Africa, and MultiChoice across Africa.
As the exclusive global streaming partner, YouTube will stream an extended version of VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World on the Global Citizen channel, which will include exclusive performances from Foo Fighters, Eddie Vedder, and J Balvin, as well as additional appearances by NCT 127 and Picture This and YouTube creators Daniel El Travieso, Kati Morton, ShootforLove, Thembe Mahlaba, and The Try Guys.
As part of Global Citizen’s Recovery Plan for the World campaign, VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World will bring together artists, entertainers, world leaders, and more to ensure equitable vaccine distribution around the world, tackle COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, and celebrate a hopeful future.
Find out how to tune in here, and join us in taking action to end the pandemic and ensure that everyone, everywhere has access to COVID-19 vaccines. Then, head to our multimedia hub VAX BECAUSE to join candid conversations about the pandemic and find answers to your biggest questions about the vaccines.
Want to take home part of the show? Check out our VAX LIVE merch at the Global Citizen official store.