Major public figures like Prince Harry, US President Joe Biden, Jennifer Lopez, and others joined forces over the weekend to encourage coronavirus vaccine equity at a massive concert in California.
According to Fox News, the collection of stars and leaders gathered Sunday night as part of Global Citizen's massive "Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World" event at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.
Many commented that the large event was the 'first of its kind' in Southern California since the pandemic began closing large gatherings down in March of 2020. The taped fundraising event will air May 8 on ABC, ABC News Live, CBS, YouTube and iHeartMedia broadcast radio stations.
The concert included performances by Lopez, Eddie Vedder, Foo Fighters, J Balvin and H.E.R. Ben Affleck, Chrissy Teigen, Jimmy Kimmel, Sean Penn and David Letterman appeared as special guest speakers.
Everyone in the audience was fully vaccinated. Media and production staff needed to show a negative COVID test before entering the stadium.
"The vaccines are safe. I promise you. They work," said Biden, who was accompanied in a video message with first lady Dr Jill Biden. Both appeared as part of the "We Can Do This" initiative to increase confidence in COVID-19 vaccines.
Biden continued, "We are working with leaders around the world to share more vaccines and boost production to make sure every country has the vaccines they need. If we get this done, we will not have to miss another moment."
The event was part of a growing chorus seeking wider, more equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. USD 53.8 million in philanthropic and corporate commitments helped procure nearly 10.3 million doses, exceeding the goal for the Vax Live campaign.
Prince Harry said providing vaccines across the globe is imperative, particularly those in the poorest countries. He said that he is standing in solidarity with India, which is experiencing a "devastating" second wave of the virus.
"The vaccine must be distributed to everyone everywhere," the Duke of Sussex said. He along with his wife Meghan are leading an effort to raise money for the vaccine-sharing program COVAX, which hopes to produce USD 19 billion to pay for the vaccines for medical workers.
He said, "We cannot rest or truly recover until there is fair distribution to every corner of the world. The virus does not respect borders and access to the vaccine cannot be determined by geography."
The event also highlighted first responders and health care workers efforts during the pandemic. Selena Gomez, the show's host, called essential and frontline workers "reliable" and "brave."
The singer said, "Many of us had to stay home, but you all didn't have a choice. You set an example for all of us, both in how you stayed on the job and that we need to get vaccinated as soon as possible."
Each musical performance made things seem almost like normal with attendees standing at their seats side-by-side while others danced with their masks on. Some hugged each other with enthusiasm. H.E.R. performed on a small stage outside the stadium with a group of people playing their guitars.
( With inputs from ANI )
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