Harry and Meghan call for vaccine fairness in New York speech


The Duke of Sussex called on pharmaceutical companies to give up their intellectual property rights to Covid vaccines as he said the pandemic was becoming a ‘human rights crisis’.

Harry and Meghan took to the stage in New York City as part of Global Citizen Live, a 24-hour event calling on executives to adopt a vaccine equity policy.

Artists like Ed Sheeran, Coldplay and Lizzo were also part of the event which included events in Lagos, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Seoul and Sydney.

The Duke said: “We are fighting more than the virus alone, it is a battle of disinformation, bureaucracy, lack of transparency and lack of access and, most importantly, it is a human rights crisis . “

Harry and Meghan said they spoke to experts about the pandemic and vaccine equity issues around the world.

Harry said: “They said that many countries are willing to produce vaccines at home but are not allowed to do so because the ultra-rich pharmaceutical companies do not share the proceeds to make them.

“These countries have the means, the capacity and the workers to go into manufacturing. All they are waiting for is for the intellectual property of the vaccine to be relinquished and for the vaccine technology to be transferred.

“By the way, a lot of these vaccines were publicly funded. These are your vaccines, you paid for them.

Ms Mohammed, Nigeria’s former environment minister, shared the photo in a tweet, saying: “In conversation with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

“Sharing how to engage on issues that matter to us: climate action, women’s economic empowerment, mental well-being, youth engagement and vaccine equity.”

Harry and Meghan’s visit is their first public appearance together since the birth of their daughter Lilibet in June, and their first big public trip after the Megxit.

Meghan told the crowd that “every person on this planet has the basic right to receive this vaccine” but that is not happening.

She said: “While in this country and many others you can go almost anywhere and get vaccinated, billions of people around the world cannot.

“It is wrong that such a large part of the vaccine supply has so far only gone to 10 rich countries and not everyone. It’s just not OK.

“These experts shared that how the vaccine is distributed and to whom it is distributed should be left to independent international organizations who know exactly where the doses are most needed.

“Just think of the millions of vaccines that have been thrown away this year. It’s like throwing in life jackets, when those around you are drowning.

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