The number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered around the world has surpassed the number of confirmed cases of the disease.
According to data compiled by Our World in Data, a research publication based at the University of Oxford, as of Wednesday a total of 107.3 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered around the world — while Johns Hopkins University recorded 104.5 million confirmed cases globally.
In gross numbers the United States leads the chart with 33.88 million doses administered since the first shot was given in mid-December, followed by the United Kingdom with 10.52 million and Israel with 5.21 million doses.
In numbers relative to the population, Israel easily beats other nations, with 60.1 doses per 100 people. In the U.K. there have been 15.5 doses administered per 100 people. The U.S. comes in third, with 10.1 shots per 100 people.
The numbers count a single dose of the vaccine and don’t necessarily reflect the total number of people, as it also includes some people who have received more than one shot.
Still, the figures suggest a glimpse of hope in the fight to overcome the pandemic — though health experts continue to push for greater cooperation among the world’s nations as a way to put a definitive end to the crisis.
“We are in a race against time,” World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wrote in an essay published Tuesday in Foreign Policy.
“The development of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines in record time is a remarkable testament to modern scientific capabilities. Whether it will bring an end to this terrible pandemic is a test of the world’s political will and moral commitment,” he added.
While highlighting an increasing number of vaccine options — which he sees as “the best chance of bringing this pandemic under control” — Tedros noted that “current manufacturing capacity meets only a fraction of global need,” he said, warning world leaders about the dangers of “vaccine nationalism.”
According to the head of the WHO, rich countries — which have 16 percent of the world’s population — have purchased 60 percent percent of the world’s vaccine supply.
“Vaccine nationalism is not just morally indefensible. It is epidemiologically self-defeating and clinically counterproductive,” he said.
“Allowing the majority of the world’s population to go unvaccinated will not only perpetuate needless illness and deaths and the pain of ongoing lockdowns, but also spawn new virus mutations as COVID-19 continues to spread among unprotected populations,” Tedros added.
Story by Muri Assuncao.