When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s son Archie turned two on Thursday, the Sussexes put forth a rather heart-warming request to fans: donate $5 each to help cover the cost of a Covid-19 vaccine shot in the world’s poorest places.

“We cannot think of a more resonant way to honor our son’s birthday,” stated Harry and Meghan in a statement on the website of their Archewell Foundation. “This year, our world continues to be on the path to recovery from COVID-19 … While some places are on the verge of healing, in so many parts of the world, communities continue to suffer.

Daily Mail reported that Harry and Meghan further added that people all over the world won't be able to "recover until everyone, everywhere, has equal access to the vaccine.” The couple averred that a $5 donation would be automatically matched by unidentified supporting organizations and “turn into $20 — covering the cost of four doses.”

The Sussexes also released a separate statement, in which they suggested backing the global push to lift intellectual property protections on coronavirus vaccines. Harry and Meghan—whose net worth is around $10 million—have been writing to CEOs of top vaccine manufacturers such as Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson. The couple allegedly implored the makers to “end your opposition” to waive the rules and “work collaboratively with the global community to achieve universal access.”

The open letter, which was published on Global Citizen, seemed to have sided with the Sussexes views and urged Moderna and Pfizer to donate 100 million vaccine doses to COVAX, the global initiative co-directed by the World Health Organization (WHO) by the end of 2021.

In another news, the Biden administration announced the party’s interest in removing patent protections for the vaccine on Wednesday. However, Pfizer has hit out at the government stance as its shares and Moderna's tumbled on Thursday. If the plan gets rolling, US will become frontrunners of sorts, as the first country in the developed world with large vaccine manufacturing to have publicly supported the idea.

While French President Emmanuel Macron seemed to give a nod to the concept on Thursday, he opined that a waiver wasn't really the solution as far as making the vaccine a lot accessible is concerned. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel outrightly expressed her skepticism with the approach, and stated, “The protection of the intellectual property is a source of innovation and must remain so in the future.”

The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations sided with a similar stance, as cited on Page Six. “A waiver is the simple but the wrong answer to what is a complex problem,” stated the body, adding, “Waiving patents of COVID-19 vaccines will not increase production nor provide practical solutions needed to battle this global health crisis.”

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attended a reception to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the investiture of the Prince of Wales on March 5, 2019 in London, England. Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images

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