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"Where you're born should not affect your ability to survive": Prince Harry urges COVID vaccine equity

Global vaccine inequality
Global vaccine inequality 03:37

Prince Harry made an impassioned plea on Wednesday night for global leaders to "keep doing our part" and deliver COVID vaccine science and support to developing countries. He delivered his remarks at the British GQ Men of the Year Awards, saying, "we cannot move forward together unless we address this imbalance." 

Prince Harry made the remarks while introducing GQ's Heroes of the Year — the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine team.

"Until every community can access the vaccine, and until every community is connected to trustworthy information about the vaccine, then we are all at risk," the Duke of Sussex said. "... There is a huge disparity between who can and cannot access the vaccine. Less than 2% of people in the developing world have received a single dose at this point, and many of their healthcare workers are still not even vaccinated."

GQ Men Of The Year Awards 2021 In Association With BOSS
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, appears via video link at the 24th GQ Men of the Year Awards in association with BOSS at Tate Modern on September 1, 2021 in London, England.  David M. Benett via Getty Images

Just under 40% of the world has received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, but only 1.8% of people in low-income countries have received a dose, according to Our World in Data, an organization that acquires data from governments and health ministries. 

The United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Israel, China and the United Kingdom have administered the most doses per 100 people as of September 1, according to the site. There are at least 13 different vaccines available around the world, according to the World Health Organization. 

Prince Harry said that many people are also being "overwhelmed" with misinformation about the COVID vaccine, and that this misinformation is "dividing communities and eroding trust." 

But vaccines, Prince Harry said, are essential to ending the pandemic. 

The scientists behind the vaccines have done their part, he said, and now, it is up to world leaders to keep the momentum going, particularly in regions with limited access to vaccines and health care. 

"That must include sharing vaccine science and supporting and empowering developing countries with more flexibility," he said. "Where you're born should not affect your ability to survive, when the drugs and know-how exist to keep you alive and well."

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