Luxury brand Gucci on Friday announced that it would donate $500,000 to UNICEF USA in order to ensure that no one is denied access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Gucci president and CEO Marco Bizzari in a statement said: “No one is truly free unless we are all free: this also includes being free from sickness.”

He further said, “This is a global battle, a global effort, and the commitment also needs to be global.”

The USA is the worst affected country in the world by the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 14.7 million COVID-19 cases and more than 281,000 deaths. 

Inoculations in the country can begin as early as next week outgoing President Donald Trump has said, and the US Food and Drug Administration will meet on Thursday to decide on the emergency-use authorisation of the Pfizer-BioNtech SE COVID-19 vaccine.

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Bizzari further stated, “Now that a COVID-19 vaccine appears to be ready for use, the true challenge is ensuring that it is procured and distributed fairly.”

The multinational company has also pledged to match up to $100,000 of funds raised from the Gucci community on the course of its special 21-day challenge that started on December 5 and will go on till December 26.

“Over the next 21 days, everyone is invited to give their donations, large or small, which Gucci will match, up to a maximum of an additional $100,000,” reported fashion outlet WWD quoting Bizzari.

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All contributions made by the fashion house will fund UNICEF initiatives, some of them being the procurement of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, who provide critical service. The contribution will help purchase tens of thousand of vaccine fridges and will also account for the cost of vaccines worldwide.

Gucci had donated $2 million in the fight against coronavirus in March, while other fashion houses manufactured face masks and other necessary supplies.