Global Citizen's upcoming 'VAX LIVE' online concert is set to raise funds for at least 6.5 million African healthcare workers to become vaccinated amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Global Citizen has recently announced its upcoming concert VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World. The online event, which will be broadcast on May 8th, will feature a number of artists from across the world who are set to perform as part of a massive fundraising effort for African healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will reportedly go towards a large-scale vaccination drive supporting at least 6.5 million healthcare workers in what the organisation has dubbed "dollars for doses".
In a recent press statement, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa responded to news of the initiative saying:
" South Africa is fully behind this initiative to be part of a collective effort to recover after the devastating pandemic. The 'Recovery Plan for the World' is a good opportunity to get the international community working together to drive equitable access to vaccines for everyone, everywhere. Again, I urge world leaders to urgently free up excess supply for poorer countries. Today, the world is facing an unprecedented health, social and economic crisis. Now is the time to act in the interests of the whole world, now is the time to become truly global citizens."
The official artist lineup has not been released as yet and any African talent taking part in the concert being kept under wraps. However, American actress and singer, Selena Gomez, is set to host the online event which will be streamed in an extended edition on YouTube.
While several African countries have already started their vaccine rollouts, the sobering reality of vaccine shortages remains, exacerbated by intermittent pauses due to concerns about observed side effects in those who have received certain COVID-19 vaccines. Less than 2 percent of the 690 million vaccines administered globally have been in Africa. The push right now is towards African countries being able to manufacture their own vaccines.