Celebrities from Prince Harry to Jennifer Lopez put their fame to good use Saturday night at the Global Citizen fundraising concert.
“Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World,” which was taped on May 2 and hosted by Selena Gomez, raised more than 26 million COVID-19 vaccine doses and $302 million for the ACT-Accelerator, which aims to provide “equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, tests, treatments and other medical tools to the world’s most marginalized communities and healthcare workers on the frontlines,” according to Global Citizen.
Among the major donors were Mastercard, which pledged $25 million, Cisco and Procter & Gamble, each with $5 million, and the Coca-Cola Foundation with $500,000.
Canada donated almost $300 million to fund COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments, while Norway, Spain, the UAE and New Zealand all offered its surplus doses.
“We have been overwhelmed by the support for ‘Vax Live,’ from governments, philanthropists, the private sector, our campaign chairs, and Global Citizens from across the world, who have joined forces to mobilize critical COVID-19 vaccines where they are needed urgently,” Hugh Evans, CEO of Global Citizen, said in a statement.
“But 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 ensure equitable vaccine access globally.”
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle served as campaign chairs for the event, which included special appearances from President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden, Ben Affleck, Chrissy Teigen, David Letterman, Gayle King, Jimmy Kimmel, Nomzamo Mbatha, Olivia Munn and Sean Penn.
Jennifer Lopez, Eddie Vedder, Foo Fighters, J Balvin and H.E.R. all performed.
With several thousand fully vaccinated concertgoers in attendance at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, “Vax Live” marks one of the biggest concerts in the country since the COVID-19 pandemic began.