Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are working with WHO director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in what they see as an urgent need in low-income countries for access to COVID-19 vaccines.
Ahead of the G20 Summit in Rome this weekend, they pair published an open letter on WHO’s website that said in part: “Of the almost 7 billion doses that have been administered globally, just 3 percent of people in low-income countries have had a jab so far. Where are the rest?”
The statement continued, “COVAX, the initiative designed to help achieve fair global access to COVID vaccines, has been promised 1.3 billion doses to be donated for the low-income countries it supports, yet it has been able to ship only 150 million – 11.5 percent – to date. Where are the rest?”
They took countries to task for having “millions of surplus vaccines that are destined to be wasted once they expire.”
They wrote, “Each dose represents a real person—a mother, father, daughter, or son—who could have been protected. Each of us come from very different places, backgrounds, and life experiences, but we share a common goal: to tackle global inequity.”
They said in order to vaccinate 40% of all countries by the end of the year, they need to fund he Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator so it can carry out its vital work of providing vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments to the most vulnerable people on the planet — from older populations and health workers to refugees.”
They concluded the letter with, “Cooperation of historic proportion is the only solution. Lives literally depend on it.”