Some of the biggest stars in the world including Jennifer Lopez, Selena Gomez, Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex have joined world leaders and philanthropists for VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World – and yep, it was pretty spectacular!
Their goal? To ensure everyone, everywhere has access to COVID-19 vaccines and inspire confidence in vaccines in this digital world of ours that’s so quick to spread misinformation.
Today, international advocacy organisation Global Citizen, who was behind the major event, announced the concert helped mobilise over 26 million COVID-19 vaccine doses.
And that’s not all.
They also secured $302 million to provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, tests, treatments and other medical tools to the world’s most marginalised communities and healthcare workers on the frontlines.
Mission accomplished, but not quite over, yet.
Taped at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California for a COVID-19 compliant audience composed of fully-vaccinated frontline healthcare and essential workers, it was the first large-scale music event held at the stadium in a long time.
Singer and entrepreneur Selena Gomez hosted the show while Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan served as campaign chairs.
“None of us should be comfortable with thinking that we can be fine when so many others are suffering,” the Duke of Sussex said to the audience.
“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.”
Appearing in a video message, Meghan delivered an equally passionate message about supporting women:
“As campaign chairs, my husband and I believe it’s critical that our recovery prioritises the health, safety and success of everyone and particularly women who have been disproportionately affected by this pandemic. Women, and especially women of colour, have seen a generation of economic gain wiped out. Since the pandemic began, nearly 5.5 million women have lost work in the U.S….and 47 million more women around the world are expected to slip into extreme poverty.”
Jennifer Lopez took to the stage to perform a cover of “Sweet Caroline”, dedicating the song to her vaccinated mum, Guadalupe, who joined her on stage.
“When I was thinking about what song to sing tonight, I remember the song she used to sing to me as a baby,” J.Lo told the crowd.
Guadalupe added, “when I used to rock you, I would say, ‘Sweet Jennifer'”.
There were also performances by Eddie Vedder, H.E.R and Foo Fighters and special appearances by TV personalities Chrissy Teigen, Kevin Frazier and Gayle King and actors Olivia Munn and Sean Penn who thanked frontline workers for putting their lives on the line around the globe.
The VAX LIVE concert not only called on governments to begin sharing vaccine doses immediately, but also asked pharmaceutical companies such as Moderna, to urgently provide millions of doses to the poorest nations at cost price.
Commitments were made by Canada, Norway, Spain, the UAE, New Zealand, Portugal, Croatia and Italy to support countries in need during the pandemic and some of the biggest corporations in the world also made pledges to help purchase vaccines including Mastercard who are contributing $25 million and music streaming service Spotify who are donating $500,000.
Hugh Evans, CEO of Global Citizen, says he’s overwhelmed by the support from so many governments, groups in the private sector and philanthropists, but he also says there’s so much more to do:
“More needs to be done especially from G7 nations that have yet to commit to sharing any doses. The UK alone will have 113 million surplus doses. We need to continue our efforts to urge the chair of the G7, Boris Johnson, the rest of the G7 and G20 nations, and vaccine manufacturers to share additional doses urgently to help equitable vaccine access globally.”
You can watch the full event below:
(Feature Image Credit: Getty Images for Global Citizen, VAX LIVE)