Prince Harry and Meghan Markle call out ‘ultra-wealthy’ vaccine companies

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spoke to the crowd at the 24-hour Global Citizen Live event in New York and criticised ‘ultra-wealthy’ companies that produce the Covid vaccine.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex appeared at the event, held at Central Park's Grand Lawn, with guests urging for global vaccine equality as they gear up to ask all first world countries to donate one billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

Prince Harry, 37, told the crowd of conversations with vaccine experts: “They said many countries are ready to produce vaccines at home yet they aren’t allowed to because ultra-wealthy pharmaceutical companies are not sharing the recipes to make them.

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“These countries have the means, the ability and the workers to start manufacturing. All they are waiting for is the vaccine intellectual property to be waived and the vaccine technology to be transferred over.”

The Duke of Sussex continued: “By the way, many of these vaccines were publicly funded. They are your vaccines, you paid for them.

“We’re battling more than the virus alone, this is a battle of misinformation, bureaucracy, lack of transparency and lack of access and, above all, this is a human rights crisis.”

Meghan, 40, supported her husband’s sentiment and told the crowd that “every single person has a fundamental right to get the vaccine” and “it’s just not OK” that it isn’t happening.

She said: “It is wrong that so much of the vaccine supply has only gone to just ten wealthy nations so far and not everyone else. It’s just not OK.

“These experts shared that how the vaccine is distributed, and who it’s distributed to, should be left to independent international organisations who know exactly where the doses are most needed.”

She continued: “Just think about the millions of vaccines that have been discarded this year. That’s like throwing away life vests, when those around you are drowning.”

The star-studded event saw a number of high-profile celebrities in attendance as the group gathers to campaign for greater action on climate change and raise awareness of other worldwide issues.

On Thursday 23 September the couple also visited the 9/11 memorial and were joined by New York Governor Kathy Hochul and the Mayor of NYC Bill de Blasio.

Since then, Meghan and Harry have also been spotted at the famous Melba restaurant in Harlem as they shared their thanks and support for the establishment’s effort to combat COVID in one of the city’s poorest areas.

The couple then pledged £25,000 to aid with their donations.

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