Prince Harry joined hands with several stars to make an in-person appearance at an event organized to spread awareness about vaccination against COVID-19.
The Duke of Sussex was part of VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World which took place on May 1, and was aired on Saturday, May 8.
The former working royal, who serves as a chair member for the Global Citizen campaign along with wife Meghan Markle, addressed the crowd at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California and stressed on the pressing need of getting vaccinated against the virus.
“Hi, everybody. We are at a defining moment in the global fight against COVID-19. Tonight is a celebration of each of you here, the vaccinated frontline workers in the audience and the millions of frontline heroes around the world,” he said.
“You spent the last year battling courageously and selflessly to protect us all. You’ve served and sacrificed, put yourselves in harm’s way and acted with bravery, knowing the costs. We owe you an incredible debt of gratitude. Thank you,” he went on to say.
“But we’re also coming together because this pandemic will not end unless we act collectively with an unprecedented commitment to our shared humanity. The vaccine must be distributed to everyone, everywhere. We cannot rest or truly recover until there is fair distribution to every corner of the world,” he continued.
“The mission in front of us is one we cannot afford to fail out and that’s what tonight is about. The virus does not respect borders, and access to the vaccine cannot be determined by geography. It must be accepted as a basic right for all and that is our starting point,” he added. “None of us should be comfortable with thinking that we can be fine when so many others are suffering.”
“In reality, and especially with this pandemic, when any suffer, we all suffer. We must look beyond ourselves with empathy and compassion for those we know, and those we don’t. We need to lift up all of humanity, and make sure that no person or community is left behind,” he said.
“For the nations that have received so few doses and the countries where the [coronavirus] cases are rising and the human loss is staggering, hesitancy is not an option. Misinformation is not simply harming those who believe it, but also those who don’t. We must tackle each of these issues head on — vaccine equity and misinformation,” said Harry to the crowd.
“If vaccine distribution moved half as quickly as misinformation, just imagine how many lives could be saved. I understand why people are confused, or sometimes don’t know what to think or believe about vaccines. We are experiencing a viral pandemic alongside a digital pandemic. In today’s world, we are so connected, like a vast nervous system, whether we’re online or not.”
He further said that just like COVID-19, “there are no borders online.”
“So when vaccine misinformation and disinformation spreads, magnified on social media and in parts of traditional media, it exposes a collective threat to humanity. I believe that misinformation is a global humanitarian crisis,” he added.
Harry was at the event without his wife, who skipped the event and addressed the crowd through a video message instead.
After his speech, in a candid backstage moment—a video of which has now gone viral—Harry said: “What we cannot allow to happen is science being politicized.”