Prince Harry is urging global leaders to step up their efforts to equitably distribute the COVID-19 vaccine as well as combat misinformation about it.
On Wednesday night, the Duke of Sussex appeared over video at the GQ Men of the Year Awards 2021 to present a prize to the female-led team behind the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
To date, AstraZeneca has shipped over a billion doses of the vaccine globally, according to the Guardian.
“I’m deeply honored to be introducing our final awardees who you will immediately recognize for their landmark contribution to the fight against COVID-19,” he said. “Our heroes this evening are professor Sarah Gilbert, Dr. Catherine Green and the entire team of dedicated Oxford scientists. Their breakthrough research on the Oxford vaccine has brought the world one of the greatest tools for achieving vaccines equity.”
“They also approach their mission with a humanitarian urgency,” he said. “In April of last year, the Oxford team packed up a shipment of research cultures and stealthfully sent it to India — an early example of the biotech collaboration we need to bring this global crisis to an end.”
Harry emphasized that “until every community can access the vaccines and until every community is connected to trustworthy information about the vaccine, then we are all at risk.
“As people sit in the room with you tonight, more than one-third of the global population has received at least one dose of the vaccine — that’s more than 5 billion shots given around the world so far, and it sounds like a major accomplishment, and in many ways it is. But there’s a huge disparity between who can and cannot access the vaccine.