Prince Harry Donned a Tuxedo to Honor COVID-19 Vaccine Researchers

Prince Harry made a surprise virtual appearance to honor British COVID-19 researchers.

The Duke of Sussex appeared via video link at the 2021 British GQ Men of the Year Awards, which took place in London last night. Streaming live from his home in Montecito, California, Harry wore a tuxedo as he awarded GQ‘s Heroes of the Year: Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, Dr. Catherine Green, and the entire team who developed the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

“I’m deeply honored to be introducing our final awardees, who you’ll immediately recognize for their landmark contribution to the fight against COVID-19,” he said in his speech. “Their breakthrough research on the Oxford vaccine has brought the world one of our greatest tools for achieving vaccine equity.”

He continued, “Until every community can access the vaccine, and until every community is connected to trustworthy information about the vaccine, then we are all at risk. That’s a common refrain my wife and I have heard in convenings with vaccine experts, heads of industry, community advocates, and global leaders.”

In his speech, Harry also addressed the global imbalance in vaccine distribution, noting that less than 2 percent of people in the developing world have received a single dose so far. Further, he called out the widespread skepticism over the vaccine.

“Families around the world are being overwhelmed by mass-scale misinformation across news media and social media, where those who peddle in lies and fear are creating vaccine hesitancy, which in turn is dividing communities and eroding trust,” he said. “This is a system we need to break if we are to overcome COVID-19 and the rise of new variants.”

He added, “The Oxford team have done their part. They are heroes of the highest order who gave us an instrument to fight this disease. They are our nation’s pride, and we are deeply indebted to their service.”

Harry’s appearance comes a month after Duchess Megan announced her 40×40 initiative to help women enter the workplace, with a special skit filmed partly in their Montecito home. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also recently contributed to aid efforts in Afghanistan and Haiti through their Archewell Foundation.

“When any person or community suffers, a piece of each of us does so with them, whether we realize it or not. And though we are not meant to live in a state of suffering, we, as a people, are being conditioned to accept it. It’s easy to find ourselves feeling powerless, but we can put our values into action—together,” they said in a statement shared on their Archewell website.

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