PRINCE Harry has blasted anti-vaxxers who “peddle lies and fear” in a surprise speech at the GQ awards as Piers Morgan sat in the audience.
The Duke of Sussex blamed “masses of misinformation” for vaccine hesitancy in a virtual appearance from the US.
Piers, 56, was in the audience at the Men of the Year awards in London as the royal gave his speech.
It came just hours after Harry lost his Ofcom complaint against him in the row that led to the Good Morning Britain host quitting the show.
Him and Meghan had personally lodged a direct complaint to ITV and Ofcom.
But the watchdog ruled Piers was giving his opinions on the couple’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, before he stormed off set live on air.
Harry presented a prize to Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, Professor Catherine Green and the team behind the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab as part of his surprise appearance.
He warned: “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.” Harry said people were being “overwhelmed by masses of misinformation,” leading to hesitancy over the jab.
He added: “As people sit in the room with you tonight, more than a third of the global population has received at least one dose of the vaccine. That’s more than five billion shots given around the world so far.
“It sounds like a major accomplishment and in many ways it is, but there is a huge disparity between who can and cannot access the vaccine”
Those who peddle in lies and fear are creating vaccine hesitancy
The Duke Of Sussex
Wearing a black tuxedo the Duke added: “We cannot move forward together unless we address this imbalance as one.
“At the same time, families around the world are being overwhelmed by masses of misinformation across news media and social media, where those who peddle in lies and fear are creating vaccine hesitancy, which in turn leads to divided communities and eroding trust.
HEROES OF THE HIGHEST ORDER
“This is a system we need to break if we are to overcome Covid-19 and the risk of new variants.”
He hailed the team behind the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, who received the heroes of the year award, as “heroes of the highest order” who “have done their part”.
He said: “They are our nation’s pride and we are deeply indebted to their service. For the rest of us, including global governments, pharmaceutical leaders and heads of business, we have to keep doing our part.
“That must include sharing vaccine science and supporting and empowering developing countries with more flexibility. Where you are born should not affect your ability to survive when the drugs and know-how exist to keep you alive and well.”
Idris Elba and wife Sabrina Dhowre hosted the awards in London last night, where Ed Sheeran, Gareth Southgate and Oscar-winner Anthony Hopkins all scooped gongs.