Meghan Markle calls for equal vaccine access in VAX Live speech

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Meghan Markle wants the world to be on an equal playing field when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines.

“If we work together to bring vaccines to every country and continent, insist that vaccines are equitably distributed and fairly priced, and ensure that governments around the world are donating their additional vaccines to countries in need,” Markle said in a speech during VAX Live on Saturday night, “then we can begin to fully rebuild. Not only to restore us to where we were before, but to go further.”

As co-chair of the VAX Live event with her husband, Prince Harry, Markle, 39, focused heavily on the financial inequality women — especially women of color — have faced since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“My husband and I believe it’s critical that our recovery prioritizes the health, safety and success of everyone,” Markle explained. “Particularly women who have been disproportionately affected by this pandemic.”

The expectant mother went on to explain that increases in gender-based violence and demand for unpaid care workers have brought the world to an “inflection point” for gender equality. Over five million women in the United States alone have lost their jobs, she revealed, adding that 47 million women around the globe are expected to slip into “extreme poverty” as the pandemic continues.

Markle’s speech marks her first television appearance since she and Harry’s interview with Oprah in March. The speech was recorded outdoors, and the heavily pregnant Markle — just weeks from her due date — wore a coral and pink collared blouse with her long brown hair brushed over one shoulder.

This is not the first time Markle or her 36-year-old husband have spoken up about the importance of vaccines. When their son, Archie, turned two years old, the parents asked fans for monetary donations to help bring vaccines to some of the most poverty stricken countries in the world.

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