International advocacy organization Global Citizen, known for its advocacy work and impactful campaigns in support of pressing social issues has launched its latest appeal calling on world leaders to ensure the equitable distribution of vaccines around the globe.
The focus is particularly on aiding the world’s poorest countries, many of which are lagging behind their more affluent Western neighbors in their COVID-19 vaccine rollouts. VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World—a broadcast and streaming special—will take place on Saturday, May 8th, 2021.
With support from the World Health Organization (WHO), European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Prime Minister of Italy and G20 Chair Mario Draghi, and Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez, and the State of California.
The special event hosted by multi-platinum recording artist, actress, and producer Selena Gomez, will include a night of musical performances by Jennifer Lopez, Eddie Vedder, Foo Fighters, J Balvin, and H.E.R.
“As a global community, we are in a race against time and the key to coming back together is the vaccine. We need to build vaccine confidence in the U.S. and globally, and encourage people to take the vaccine as quickly as possible,” said Hugh Evans, Global Citizen Co-Founder & CEO.
“There is a light at the end of this tunnel, but getting vaccines to everyone, everywhere regardless of who they are or where they are from, is key to ensuring the end of this pandemic around the world. We must all unite to get back on track to eradicating extreme poverty.”
United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, said:
“We will not see an end to the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the shutdown to our economies without access to the people’s vaccine. To get this done, it is imperative that more resources are made available, that surpluses from wealthier nations are shared immediately with frontline workers in lower income countries, and that the production of vaccines is accelerated.”
“Considerable efforts have been made by the African Union envoy and it will take even greater international coordination and closer collaboration over the coming months to ensure that vaccines are made available to the world’s vulnerable people.”
Executive Director for UN Women, Phumizile Mlambo-Ngcuka added:
“Over the past year, it has become increasingly clear that the COVID-19 pandemic is not just a health issue but also a social issue. This crisis has exacerbated existing inequalities across all aspects of life for women, girls, and their communities. This pandemic provides us with an opportunity for radical, positive action to redress long-standing inequalities in multiple areas of women’s lives. In our joint pursuit to end the pandemic, we must make a conscious effort to center the distribution of vaccines to women and tell more stories of building resilience as part of our gender-responsive interventions. We cannot fully recover without a gender-focused response to COVID-19 and I’m glad to see Equity as a key focus area in the ‘Recovery Plan for the World’.”
Global Citizen is calling on governments, companies, and philanthropists to pledge the remaining $22-billion the ACT-Accelerator needs to get two billion COVID-19 vaccine doses, as well as tests and treatments, to countries that need them by the end of 2021.
A central part of this call to democratize vaccine access is raising enough “dollars-for-doses” to vaccinate the more than 27-million heroic health workers – 6.5-million in Africa alone – that are serving on the global frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic every day.
“The World Health Organization is pleased to be partnering with Global Citizen in the fight against COVID-19,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
“Throughout the response to the pandemic, we have been grateful for the efforts and commitment shown by global citizens, health advocates, and changemakers around the world to advocate for vaccine equity to protect the most vulnerable people, everywhere. WHO will continue to work closely with all nations and partners to help manage potential risks and use science and data to drive a targeted global response.” He said.
In partnership with Declan Kelly and Teneo, the global CEO advisory firm, VAX LIVE and Global Citizen’s Recovery Plan for the World are supported by a coalition of Global Partners including Cisco, Citi, The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines, Google, Live Nation, P&G and Verizon, and Pan-African Partner Access Bank.
The leaders of these companies will work together to engage the private sector to help achieve the campaign’s priority policy goals.
Global Citizen today is also launching VAX BECAUSE, to drive candid conversations about the COVID-19 pandemic, provide people with ranging perspectives about vaccine confidence, and arm people with facts about personal health and immunization options.
With the aim of ensuring that individuals, families, and communities can make the right decisions for themselves, the campaign will live on a multi-media HUB, where visitors can both ask questions they have about the vaccine, and find fact-based information about the coronavirus epidemic.
Global Citizens are encouraged to ask questions and find answers at http://VaxBecause.org.