THE DUKE of Sussex has blamed “mass-scale misinformation” for the hesitancy towards vaccinations.

Prince Harry made a virtual appearance at the GQ Men of the Year awards, where he presented a prize to Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, Professor Catherine Green and the team behind the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

The Duke delivered a speech urging governments to do more to vaccinate poorer countries, warning “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”.

He said people were being “overwhelmed by mass-scale misinformation,” leading to hesitancy over getting the jab.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

He said less two per cent of people in the developing world have received a single dose of the Covid vaccine.

“Many of the healthcare workers are still not vaccinated,” he 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 mass-scale 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.

“This is a system we need to break if we are to overcome Covid-19 and the risk of new variants.”

The Argus: Duke of Sussex blames ‘mass-scale misinformation’ for vaccine hesitancy Duke of Sussex blames ‘mass-scale misinformation’ for vaccine hesitancy

Prince Harry 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”.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Elsewhere at the ceremony, held at London’s Tate Modern, singer Ed Sheeran, actor Rege-Jean Page and England manager Gareth Southgate were also honoured.

Line Of Duty star Adrian Dunbar was named television Actor of the Year, while Dame Vivienne Westwood was named Game Changer of the Year.

She used her acceptance speech to call for action on climate change.

The fashion designer said: “We must do what we can.”

“Strike at the very structure of our economy. Our economy is the cause of climate change. Its name is military industrial conflict. It’s a war machine.”

Ed Sheeran was named Solo Artist of the Year, while Rege-Jean Page, star of Netflix period drama Bridgerton, was given the Standout Performance of the Year prize.

Newick-born Piers Morgan also attended after broadcasting watchdog Ofcom announced he did not breach the broadcasting code with his comments on Good Morning Britain about the Duchess of Sussex.