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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are asking supporters to help raise funds to increase access to the COVID-19 vaccine to celebrate Archie’s birthday on Thursday.
In a statement published on the couple’s website, Archewell, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex used their son’s birthday to advocate for vaccine equity.
“We have been deeply touched over the past two years to feel the warmth and support for our family in honor of Archie’s birthday,” the statement reads. “Many of you donate to charities on his behalf, and mark the occasion by giving back or doing an act of service—all through the goodness of your hearts.”
Harry and Markle said that much of the rollout of vaccines for the coronavirus pandemic has been concentrated in wealthier countries, and invited fans to donate towards efforts to vaccinate families in “the world’s most vulnerable places.”
“We will not be able to truly recover until everyone, everywhere, has equal access to the vaccine,” the couple’s statement read.
The statement continued: “We cannot think of a more resonant way to honor our son’s birthday. If we all show up, with compassion for those we both know and don’t know, we can have a profound impact. Even a small contribution can have a ripple effect.”
“Together, we can uplift, protect, and care for one another.”
Archie is now 2 years old and will soon become a brother as Harry and Markle prepare to welcome their baby daughter this summer.
On Archie’s 1st birthday in 2020, the couple spotlighted another charitable cause. Markle was seen on Save the Children UK’s Instagram account reading the book “Duck! Rabbit” to her son, while Harry could be heard behind the camera.
The video was part of the UK charity’s “Save with Stories” campaign urging viewers to support vulnerable children who had been impacted by COVID-19, “by helping to provide early learning packs, supermarket vouchers, essential household items, and virus protection.”
Harry and Markle will continue to promote vaccine equity during “Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World,” which will air in the US on Saturday, May 8, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, CBS, Fox, and iHeartMedia.
The event, which was prerecorded last week, will be hosted by Selena Gomez and has been organized by Global Citizen, an action group that says it seeks to “end extreme poverty by 2030” on its website.
Insider’s Samantha Grindell previously reported that Harry’s impassioned speech during the taping of the concert, his first public appearance since Prince Philip died in April, received a standing ovation.
“None of us should be comfortable thinking that we could be fine when so many others are suffering. In reality, and especially with this pandemic, when any suffer, we all suffer,” the duke said in his speech. “We must look beyond ourselves with empathy and compassion for those we know, and those we don’t. We need to lift up all of humanity and make sure that no person or community is left behind.”