After months of lockdowns, some countries like the US and UK are looking forward to a summer which could, maybe, include a return to something resembling “normality” — the chance to see friends and family, to see live music and events, and more.
But for so many people around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging, proof that unequitable access to vaccines has hampered progress on tackling the virus.
This Saturday, VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World will premiere globally after being filmed in front of a live, fully-vaccinated audience of frontline health care workers and essential workers on May 2, at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.
Hosted by Selena Gomez, the show will feature performances from 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. You can find out how to tune in and watch, wherever you are, here.
The concert serves as a joyful reminder of what is in reach when action to end the pandemic is taken, while urgently calling on world leaders, businesses, and philanthropists to do their part to inspire vaccine confidence and ensure vaccine equity, so everyone, everywhere, can get protected against COVID-19.
With help from Global Citizens taking action, enough funding to secure over 10 million vaccine doses to help the world's most marginalized communities and health care workers access the vaccine has already been mobilized by the VAX LIVE campaign — surpassing the campaign goal. But the pressure is still on to urge key decision-makers to work together, share the vaccine, and end the pandemic.
Ahead of the concert, Global Citizen launched the Vax Because website on April 12 to give people around the world the chance to ask their questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as access information from medical experts, and hear other people’s feelings about the vaccine, and their experiences of getting vaccinated.
Since then, people have been using the site and social media, to share why they got the vaccine if it’s available to them; and why they want to get access to the vaccine if it’s not yet available to them, using #VaxBecause.
It’s been heart-warming to read all the messages — from wanting to see friends and family again, to wanting to help protect vulnerable people in the community — people have shared many different reasons for wanting to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Many have also used their messages to underline the importance of fair and equitable access to vaccines all over the world.
Here are some of our favourite #VaxBecause posts celebrating getting the vaccine and calling for vaccine equity.
1. Demi Lovato gets the #VaxBecause she wants to save lives and stop the spread
2. This family#VaxBecause they want to volunteer in person again
3. When you #VaxBecause you want to hug your mom on Mother's Day
I am so happy I got the #VaxBecause I’ll be able to give and get the gift of a warm embrace on my next birthday, which is also Mother’s Day (May 9th). I can’t wait to hug my mom!— Danielle Maughn (@dlmaughn) April 13, 2021
4. #VaxBecause you want to see your whole family again
5. This frontline worker wants everyone to #VaxBecause we *need* more nights like VAX LIVE!
FIRST CONCERT BACK! being in a fully vaccinated audience with my fellow essential/frontline workers was absolutely incredible. thank you to @GlblCtzn for putting this on! i encourage EVERYONE to please get the #VaxBecause we all deserve more nights like these! pic.twitter.com/O8TszBIsGT— pad (@Ayyopad) May 4, 2021
6. When you #VaxBecause hope is in the air
7. Los Lobos gives #VaxBecause a big thumbs up!
8. #VaxBecause everyone deserves to be safe from COVID-19
9. When you #VaxBecause you want to go to more incredible concerts
10. Betta Lemme gets the #VaxBecause she wants to crowd surf and hug people
11. #VaxBecause you want to keep your neighbors safe (… and for that sweet bottle of water)
12. When everyone needs access to the #VaxBecause we're in this fight together.
@GlblCtzn thank you for organizing this incredible event dedicated to such an important cause! Vaccines MUST be available to EVERYONE around the 🌍. I #VaxBecause we are in this fight together 🙏 Vaccine equality is human equality ❤— Zachary Collier MD (@zjcolliermd) May 3, 2021