Prince Harry and Meghan, President Biden, and More Join 'VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World'
The broadcast special will demand government leaders commit to vaccine equity.
Global Citizen’s VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World is bringing together artists, entertainers, and world leaders to support vaccine equity. Now, we’re excited to announce additions to the VAX LIVE lineup of appearances, as well as new commitments from corporations and governments that will help get COVID-19 shots in more arms around the world.
Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, will serve as campaign chairs of VAX LIVE, encouraging the private sector to make donations to COVAX, the vaccine pillar of the ACT-Accelerator, to ensure everyone, everywhere can access COVID-19 vaccines.
“Over the past year, our world has experienced pain, loss, and struggle — together. Now we need to recover and heal — together,” said Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
“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.”
Hosted by multi-platinum recording artist, actress, and producer Selena Gomez, the VAX LIVE broadcast special on May 8 will feature musical performances by Jennifer Lopez, Eddie Vedder, Foo Fighters, J Balvin, and H.E.R. Special guests from around the world will also speak about the importance of vaccine equity, including Ben Affleck, Chrissy Teigen, David Letterman, Gayle King, Jimmy Kimmel, Nomzamo Mbatha, Olivia Munn, and Sean Penn.
While many countries have begun rolling out COVID-19 vaccines, the pandemic is far from over. More than 1 billion doses have been administered worldwide, but low-income nations continue to lag behind due to inequitable access to vaccines and a surge in daily coronavirus cases. Health care systems are struggling to accommodate the influx of people needing medical attention, particularly in India where hospitals are running out of oxygen supplies and asking for aid, according to the New York Times.
VAX LIVE will call on governments to donate doses and resources to address the world’s coronavirus needs. As the first large-scale music event for a COVID-19-compliant audience of fully vaccinated frontline health care and essential workers, the broadcast special will call on world leaders to pledge a total of $19 billion — the outstanding balance needed by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) ACT-Accelerator to get 1.8 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses, as well as tests and treatments, to the world’s poorest countries by the end of 2021.
As part of the VAX LIVE campaign so far, Spain has announced a donation of 7.5 million vaccine doses to Latin America and the Caribbean as soon as 50% of the Spanish population is vaccinated. France also announced that it would begin donating vaccine doses through COVAX immediately, with an initial donation of 100,000 doses this month and at least 500,000 by June.
“As part of the VAX LIVE campaign, the Government of Spain will facilitate to Latin America and the Caribbean a quantity of vaccines against COVID-19 that corresponds, at least, to between 5% and 10% of the total vaccines that our country receives throughout 2021," said Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sánchez. "I am proud of my country and of the dedication of its people, including public representatives, for showing solidarity in responding to this crisis, that has been so brutal both in Spain and abroad."
“Last autumn, I called for the sharing of the doses ordered by our countries, to ensure both solidarity and health security," said President Emmanuel Macron of France. "This winter I proposed that each country share at least 5% of the doses ordered with the poorest countries. I can already tell you that, as far as France is concerned, this objective will be exceeded by the end of the year. With the European vaccine sharing mechanism via the COVAX initiative that France is inaugurating, we are in concrete solidarity in the fight against the virus, which does not care about borders. Today I call on all my colleagues to join this momentum and make a commitment at VAX LIVE."
Cisco, the Analog Devices Foundation, and the Coca-Cola Foundation have also made commitments to COVAX as part of the campaign. Cisco has pledged to donate $5 million, which will be matched by an anonymous Swiss Foundation donor. The Analog Devices Foundation announced $1 million, and the Coca-Cola Foundation will donate $500,000. Together, these commitments totaling $11.5 million will allow for the purchase of 2.3 million vaccine doses for health workers on the front lines.
Wow, thanks @SelenaGomez! @Cisco is proud to partner with you and @glblctzn for #VaxLive. We’re donating to #COVAX to ensure equitable access to vaccines and hope others will join us as well! @BeaperezBea and #CocaColaFoundation – what do you think? https://t.co/PxAZqp3ZcG— Francine Katsoudas (@FranKatsoudas) April 26, 2021
We are proud to partner with @glblctzn and join the call for equitable access to vaccines through #VaxLive. The #CocaColaFoundation is donating to support #COVAX and its global COVID-19 vaccine efforts. https://t.co/lauMWBcNO0— The Coca-Cola Co. (@CocaColaCo) April 26, 2021
In order to get enough people immunized to end the acute phase of the pandemic, however, world leaders must also help reduce vaccine hesitancy.
That's why US President Joe Biden, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, and Vice President Kamala Harris will make a special appearance as part of VAX LIVE through Global Citizen’s partnership with the White House’s “We Can Do This” initiative, which seeks to increase public confidence in COVID-19 vaccines while reinforcing basic prevention measures, such as mask wearing and social distancing.
Featured appearances by President Emmanuel Macron of France, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković of Croatia are also planned.
VAX LIVE will be pre-taped at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, California, and air 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 and AXS TV.
The concert 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 newly announced 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.
Ending the COVID-19 pandemic will take global collaboration to fund and distribute vaccines to people around the world. To ensure world leaders are doing their part, VAX LIVE — and Global Citizen’s broader Recovery Plan for the World campaign, which seeks to end COVID-19 and kickstart a global recovery — will hold world leaders accountable.
For more information about VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World, visit globalcitizen.org/vaxlive and follow @glblctzn on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
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.