More than 70 celebrities — including Ciara, Richard Gere, Julianna Margulies and Anne Hathaway — are calling on international leaders to prioritize COVID-19 vaccine equity, and get shots into the arms of at least 70 percent of the world's population by next summer.
In an open letter directed to the leaders gathering at the United Nations General Assembly session in New York and published in The New York Times on Tuesday, the group of performers said COVID-19 is “a manmade pandemic of apathy.”
“None of us are safe until all of us are safe,” the letter, spearheaded by the anti-poverty humanitarian organization CARE and its global advocate, Iman, said.
Global leaders, the signees said, must “make 7 billion doses available before the end of 2021, and an additional 7 billion doses by mid-2022 to fully vaccine 70 percent of the world by next summer.”
The letter promoting vaccine equity calls on nations around the world to invest in “last-mile delivery systems, public education, and frontline healthcare workers to get vaccines from tarmacs into arms.”
“Millions of doses could go to waste because low-income countries don’t have the support they need to get vaccines to vulnerable people,” it said.
“We can save millions of lives — and trillions in further economic damage — by meeting this moment with the resources and political will needed to end COVID-19 for everyone, everywhere,” said the letter.
“The negative health and economic impact that COVID-19 has brought to countries around the world is devastating,” Iman said in a statement about the letter’s release.
“Yet, despite billions of vaccine doses being produced, only a small fraction is reaching the world’s most vulnerable communities,” the model and philanthropist said.
“We need our leaders to redouble their efforts to ensure that the vaccines make it into the arms of the people who are being left behind.”
Among many of the notable figures to sign their names to the letter: comedians Sarah Silverman and Joel McHale, singer Annie Lennox, NFL star Russell Wilson, former “The Real” co-host Tamera Mowry-Housley, Broadway star Idina Menzel, “Game of Thrones’s” Peter Dinklage, fashion designers Rachel Zoe and Zac Posen, actors Debra Messing, Eva Longoria, Laura Linney, Scott Wolf, Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Alyssa Milano, model Christy Turlington Burns, choreographer Debbie Allen, former “Scandal” stars Bellamy Young and Tony Goldwyn, “Homeland’s” Morena Baccarin and celebrity chefs Spike Mendelsohn, Ellie Krieger and Curtis Stone.